Mama, Is It Summer Yet?

Overview


Young children see the passage of time through the seasonal changes to the world around them in this charming book, illustrated with Nikki McClure’s extraordinary cut-paper art. A little boy who can’t wait for summer keeps asking his mama, “Is it summer yet?” Mama says, “Not yet, little one,” then points to the signs that spring is turning to summer—the softening of the earth, the nest-building of squirrels, the singing of birds—and encourages her son to savor the beauty of ...
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Overview


Young children see the passage of time through the seasonal changes to the world around them in this charming book, illustrated with Nikki McClure’s extraordinary cut-paper art. A little boy who can’t wait for summer keeps asking his mama, “Is it summer yet?” Mama says, “Not yet, little one,” then points to the signs that spring is turning to summer—the softening of the earth, the nest-building of squirrels, the singing of birds—and encourages her son to savor the beauty of spring.
Following the success of All in a Day, Nikki McClure once again uses her unique paper cutouts to showcase wonderful images of nature and the joys of family and the outdoors, creating a book that is both timeless and fresh.

Printed on recycled paper!
 

 
Praise for All in a Day
 
New York Times bestseller
Publishers Weekly bestseller
 
[STAR] “This uplifting picture book succeeds in introducing children to the perennial promise of tomorrow through lithe language and honed imagery.” —Kirkus, starred review
 
[STAR] “A handsome, effective piece of bookmaking that captures the glory of a day and the possibilities it holds.” —Booklist, starred review

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a world of full-color picture books, black and white illustrations have to work a little harder to get noticed. Yet as in her previous book, Cynthia Rylant's All in a Day, McClure's cut-paper scenes do more than just support the story; they form its heart. In contrast to the sweet domesticity of the writing (“Mama, is it summer yet? Not yet, my little one. But the buds are swelling. Soon new leaves will unfold”), the bold outlines of the images convey strength. The substantial yet delicate lines that outline the figures and objects possess a visual rhythm, creating forms that repeat or echo (a ball of twine recalls a tree branch, swallows' heavily stylized tails mimic ripples in a pond). Set against pale yellow and accented with other cheery colors, idyllic scenes unfold as summer approaches: mother and son gather sticks for a shelter (while a squirrel steals their twine), craft a wind sock, and put on rubber boots and go canoeing. When summer finally comes, readers will rejoice with the boy. McClure's deceptively simple work carries unexpected visual force and real pleasure. Ages 4–up. (May)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
A little boy and his mother look out the window at the bare branches of a tree. Mittens and a scarf can be seen on the radiator, and the little boy asks, "Mama, is it summer yet?" He asks the question seven times, and each time the response brings us closer to summer. Not only do they observe the signs of the seasonal changes, but they also interact in the natural surroundings. The illustrations show them first in jackets and mittens. Soon the mittens are gone and they are shown in rubber boots. Finally, they are shown eating strawberries while they enjoy a dip in a kiddie pool. The simple, brief text captures the anticipation of a young child. The cut-paper illustrations enhance the text with details that support the changing season and provide much to talk about between reader and listener. The cut-paper illustrations are scanned and digitally colored with a single color on each double-page spread—such as the blue water drops coming out of the watering can—until the final spread where all the colors are included. The red end-papers are beautifully eye-catching with the cut-paper strawberries and vines so luscious the reader will want to linger. The simplicity of the text and the clean lines of the illustrations belie the complexities of the book design and the concept of the story. It is a seasonally perfect book for Mother's Day, full of warmth between mother and child. Yet it can easily be used to introduce the change of seasons from late winter through spring and into early summer. It is a welcome addition to the story-hour shelf and is a perfect lap book as well. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Repetition of this book's title question ties together responses and scenes of a child and his mother as they wait for warmer weather. It's a long winter, but small signs of the coming seasons are there each day. The days pass with a graceful swirl as the most delicate of paper-cuts detail budding trees, squirrels nesting, soft earth for seedlings, young ducklings following their mother, swallows circling overhead, and blossoming trees, culminating in the anticipated delight of summer berries. "My little one, it is summer now!" Simple black paper contrasts with a light, neutral background, highlighting spare use of digitally added color accents; solid-color sheets underscore the repeated text. While appreciation of the magnificent complexity of these paper-cuts might be lost on the youngest of readers, children will appreciate the simple sentences and lyrical verse that relate the seasonal passing of time. A lovely, artistic addition.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
Kirkus Reviews
A boy asks again and again, "Is it summer yet?" Rather than giving him a simple "No," his mother points to encouraging changes that signify summer's imminent arrival: the earth softening, buds appearing, apple blossoms blooming. McClure's intricate cut-paper illustrations compel rapt readers to examine the artwork thoroughly, looking for tiny signs of seasonal shifts in a woodsy world of seeds, squirrels, swallows and ducks. Black-and-white reliefs capture tender mother-son outdoor activities and offer isolated instances of color (pink petals, yellow duck bills) that quicken readers' eyes, alerting them to progress. Still the boy wonders, "Is it summer yet?" Mama always replies, "Not yet, my love," and softens his disappointment by reasserting her constant affection. This repeated exchange occurs throughout, allowing readers to fully appreciate both the boy's prolonged, wistful yearning and the mother's unflagging love. This gentle call and response between child and parent will lull young listeners and remind them of their own connections to caregivers. When summer finally explodes, bringing juicy berries and abundant sunshine, mother and boy luxuriate in a baby pool, glad to have made the journey together. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810984684
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 592,510
  • Age range: 4 years
  • Lexile: AD200L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki McClure is a self-taught artist who has been making paper-cuts since 1996. She is the author and illustrator of Abrams’ Collect Raindrops and the illustrator of All In a Day, by Cynthia Rylant. Kirkus said her “illustrations make such nebulous concepts as hope and renewal accessible to young readers,” and Publishers Weekly said children will enjoy “the tenderness of McClure’s images.” She lives in Olympia, Washington.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Wonderful story that can be shared by a parent and child

    Have you ever waited, waited, seemingly forever waited, through the end of winter and the false starts of spring, wondering if summer would ever come? During the last chilly days of winter, a little boy wants to know, "Is it summer yet?" His mother tells him about the buds on the bushes, the seeds being planted in the earth, and the blossoms on the apple trees. They find unique beauty and pleasure in the nesting squirrels, the singing swallows, and the swimming ducklings. But will summer make it? And what will they do then? Nikki McClure's lyrical text and cut-paper illustrations celebrate the changing of the seasons and encourage children to look closely at the world of nature around them. The author lives in Olympia, WA, where she says the wait for summer always seems especially damp and gray. One sunny day in March, her son asked, "Mama, is it summer yet?" This book is her response. It is a wonderful story that can be shared by parent and child.

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