Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Review - A Cool Summer Tail


A Cool Summer Tail

By: Carrie A. Pearson
Illustrated by: Christina Wald
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Publication Date: February 2014
ISBN: 978-1628552058
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013

Three fox kits scampered around in the grass playing as their mother watched over them. It was warm and in order to cool themselves they would “hang out their tongues” and breathe rapidly. They were wondering how humans kept cool on hot summer days. No, they weren’t quite like fox kits. “No panting! No puffing! / No ‘huh, huh, huh huffing!’ / They sweat through their skin when it’s hot.” During the days that the temperatures rose, every creature, including human ones had their own ways of keeping cool. The little painted turtle too wanted to know if humans splashed in the water and slid “into ponds under awnings of fronds.”

No, they didn’t splash around in the water like a painted turtle. Many creatures in the wild wanted to know just what those human critters did to stay cool. The little chickadees sat on a branch in front of their Mama wondering the same thing. “Do they perch in the shade / under leaves dappled jade / with their feet curling ‘round a branch?” No, they weren’t quite like little chickadees. Perhaps they were like the black bear, deer, honeybees, squirrels, butterflies, snakes, frogs, or the hummingbird. Each animal had their own special way of keeping themselves cool, but just how did those humans do it?

This is a nice introduction to animal cooling methods young students will enjoy. The tale, presented as a story in rhyme, teaches about each animal or insect after they pose the question “How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?” Two rhyming stanzas on opposite pages lets the reader know how each creature stays cool during those hot summer days. The artwork is vividly colored, bold, and has definite kid-appeal with baby animals. Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with unusual words such as “splinters.” In the back of the book are four pages of activities. Additional activities can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.

Quill says: This is a perfect companion book to A Warm Winter Tail, a book that explains how animals stay warm in the winter!