by Carrie A. Pearson
illustrated by Christine Wald
Arbordale Publishing 3/01/2014
Age 3 to 5 32 pages
“When summer heats up, animals find ways to stay cool. In A Cool Summer Tail animals wonder how humans stay cool too. Do they dig under the dirt, grow special summer hair, or only come out at night? This companion to the award-winning A Warm Winter Tail features many of [the] same animals but this time, with their summer adaptations, offering an important ‘compare and contrast’ opportunity.”
“How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?
Do they hang out their tongues,
like a spring that’s been sprung,
breathing fast in and out like this?”
The cute fox baby continues on panting, as example for its mama, but she tells it no, humans sweat through their skin. Each animal wonders if humans stay cool the same way they stay cool in the summer. I like this for a reason the author may not have intended. I like that these animals assume we might cool down as they do, because we humans have a tendency to think others behave as we do and this can help kids learn not to make those assumptions. For example, a new kid at school may have different holidays or customs and kids should not assume that child celebrates as they do, or knows the same playground games, or even have the same after school activities.
Back on track to the meaning of A Cool Summer Tail, the animals all want to know how humans stay cool in the summer. In the process, kids will learn about the ways various animals stay cool, from panting, as in the example above, or as in “sliding into a pond” as turtles do, to “hang from their hive,” as bees do to stay cool (flapping its wings to cool the Queen Bee) That one I did not know. In each scenario, the Mama animals tell their children no, and then explains why humans would not stay cool as they stay cool.
Interestingly, with the bees as an example, instead of explaining that humans do not live in a hive, or that they do not have wings to flap, (or even that humans do not cater to a Queen Human), the mama tells her babies that humans would not “bee” willing to hang by their toes (from a hive). That example, in particular, will have children laughing and laughing children will remain interested in the story. Each four-line question on the left page and three-line answer on the right page rhymes two lines. The flow is easy to read and the change in line size in the first and fourth lines from the second and third keeps the question verses interesting to both read and hear.
The very last animal may surprise you. Young children enjoy learning about animals, especially how they compare to themselves. A Cool Summer Tail does this with creative and fun verses that will entertain as well as teach young children. The illustrations are accurate renditions of the animals in each verse, using lots of color in the natural habitat. Interestingly, and often humorous, is a small black and white child cooling off as the baby animal has described. This too will have children laughing and more than one or two trying to imitate this drawing. The entire book is aid out nicely from the fox babies to the very last animal, which might just surprise you. As might this: The author is from Michigan and the illustrator Ohio yet they cooperated on this second book without any Buckeye-Wol . . . wof . . . whatever the other is called, rivalry.
A Cool Summer Tail makes a good story time book, and though written for ages three to five, could be used in kindergarten and first grades, satisfying a science common core. The book is also available as a bilingual (English-Spanish) interactive eBook, with flip-pages and audio. After the text, is a section Arbordale Publishing (formerly Sylvan-Dell Publishing), calls For Creative Minds. This section includes fun facts, comparing the story’s animals from summer to winter, and a matching activity that will check retentive skills as kids match the animal to a method of cooling off in the summer, as learned in the text.
A COOL SUMMER TAIL. Text copyright © 2014 by Carrie A. Pearson. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Christina Wald. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Arbordale Publishing, Mount Pleasant, SC.
Learn more about A Cool Summer Tail and find additional activities HERE.
Sylvan Dell Publishing is now Arbordale Publishing.
Also by Carrie A. Pearson with Christina Wald
Also by Christina Wald
Read Review HERE.
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copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews