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"The whole long, yellow afternoon/the sun boiled down so hot/the heat squiggled up in waves from the meadow." So begins a girl's story of one summer afternoon as she enjoys cool lemonade and the sweet smell of clover. She is torn between not wanting the afternoon to end, and longing for evening and the possibility of seeing a "firefly mountain." Thomas's prose is lyrical and engaging as she describes the sights, smells, and sounds of the fading afternoon and gradual coming of night, but Sylvada's oil-on-hardboard illustrations featuring browns and unnatural yellows lend the book a dreary rather than a dreamy quality. The blurred edges and indistinct shapes seem to distance readers from this experience rather than inviting them to engage with it. The magic of a summer night is better captured by Cynthia Rylant and Mary Szilagyi in Night in the Country (S & S, 1986).
—Grace OliffCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.