cover image Summer Legs

Summer Legs

Anita Hakkinen. Henry Holt & Company, $24.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2262-9

Hakkinen's debut emphasizes bouncy language at the expense of a discernible plot. While Carter's (Never Babysit the Hippopotamuses!) ebullient watercolor and gouache illustrations suggest a vague story about a family's summertime activities at a vacation cottage, the text is limited to a series of rollicking, rhythmic descriptions: ""Nice to see you summer legs/ Sunshine splashy summer legs/ Busy breezy over easy/ Splendid summer legs."" Despite the lack of development, the verse and the art combine energetically. For example, as Hakkinen rhapsodizes about ""Tingy tangy summer legs/ Sloppy sticky mustard drippy/ Family picnic legs,"" Carter shows the view beneath a picnic table, with a trio of children surreptitiously handing bits of their lunches to a satisfied dog. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)