cover image Summer Beat

Summer Beat

Betsy Franco-Feeney. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1237-8

The towheaded narrator and her pal Joe savor summer in all its rhythmic, onomatopoetic glory. Readers will quickly be caught up in the whimsical vibe-from dancing in the sprinkler's spritz (""Shhh shhh, shhh shhh) to sights and sounds of a fireworks display (""Tzooooooooooo bang. Tzooooooooooo bang. Climb the hill to watch the sky"") to the serenade of crickets during a treehouse sleepover (""Treet-treet""). And then there are the special pleasures of summer eating: ""Chump, chump, corn on the cob,"" writes Franco (Birdsongs) as her towheaded girl narrator and her pal Joe enjoy a barbecue feast. ""Crackle, crunch, munchy chips./ Watermelon, fwit, fwit. Little seeds fly from our lips."" Franco is well-matched by Middleton (Monster Pet!), whose breezy inkline, saturated colors and stylishly schematic characterizations exude a carefree sunniness. Youngsters should relish the sights and sounds of the season that this duo so ably captures in these pages. Ages 3-6.