cover image A Lullaby of Summer Things

A Lullaby of Summer Things

Natalie Ziarnik, illus. by Madeline Valentine. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-101-93552-1

At twilight, a child and her family—all have simple, doll-like faces with rounded noses—return to their rural cottage home from a day at the beach: “A screen door sings/ a lullaby of summer things.” In quiet, rhyming text, Ziarnik describes the mixed-race family’s evening routine (the mother feeds the baby, the older children take a bubble bath). As bedtime approaches, the child also reflects on their seashore outing: “And you remember the/ beach that day—/ the sea so cool,/ sails far away.” The child’s recollections play out in Valentine’s gouache spreads. Misty, cloudlike waves roll in as the girl and her family—friendly, white dog included—play in the water and sand. Though special days must end, Ziarnik suggests, warm memories are carried onward into the present. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Liza Voges, Eden Street. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)