Summer Beat


Clackity-clack, clackity-clack.

A skateboard flies over sidewalk squares.

Whoosh pumf, whoosh pumf.

Water balloons tossed through the air.

Bizzle-bzzz, bizzle-bzzz.

A ...

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Clackity-clack, clackity-clack.

A skateboard flies over sidewalk squares.

Whoosh pumf, whoosh pumf.

Water balloons tossed through the air.

Bizzle-bzzz, bizzle-bzzz.

A bumblebee comes zipping by.

Tzooooooooooo bang. Tzooooooooooo bang.

Fireworks start for the Fourth of July!

The sounds of summer sizzle and pop in this bouncing,

swinging tribute to the best beats of every child's favorite season.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

PreS - Gr 2 - Extolling the season's pleasures, this book is packed with sensory details, perhaps too many. The rhythmic text at the top of each page accompanies the story line at the bottom. Such sounds as "bizzle-bzzz," "tha-thump," and "whoosh pumf" sound authentic, but these words dominate each page and can interfere with readers' ability to focus on the simple story of a little girl luxuriating in the many joys of summer-blowing bubbles, skateboarding, racing through the sprinkler, eating sizzling food hot off the grill, seeing July 4th fireworks, and sleeping in a tree house. Middleton's charming depiction of children and pets amid bursts of vibrant color adds to the seasonal celebration, but, despite the summer mood, Franco's plot is thin and the text too busy for traditional storytimes. As a choral reading with one group reciting all the sound words in the background, children might perform this as a summer symphony. If books with performance opportunities are needed, this one would be a worthwhile selection. Otherwise, purchase only if additional seasonal offerings are needed.-Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Poet and anthologist Franco combines rhyming couplets with alliterative sound effects and dialogue in an energetic tribute to the sensations of summer. In what seems like a typically fun summer day, best buds Em and Joe skateboard ("Clackity-clack"), run through the sprinkler ("Shhh shhh"), spit out watermelon seeds ("fwit, fwit") and toss water balloons ("Whoosh pumf"). But as revealed in the surprising climax, it's actually a special day-the Fourth of July-replete with hillside fireworks at night. Middleton's double-page mixed-media spreads have a freshness that matches this singular time of year, with crisp colors, softly outlined figures and unifying patterns. The girl's golden braids are repeated as corn-on-the cob kernels, a hammock rope, a rope swing and the finish line for the three-legged race. This sunny enterprise is capped off with nice, non-linear design that features varied type fonts and the creative placement of words on the big pages. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442443396
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 360,189
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Betsy Franco is the author of numerous books for children, including Counting Our Way to the 100th Day! and Mathematickles!, both illustrated by Steven Salerno; and Birdsongs, illustrated by Steve Jenkins. She and her husband live in Palo Alto, California. They have three sons -- two actors and a sculptor. Visit Betsy's website at

Charlotte Middleton studied at the Cambridge School of Art. She illustrated Monster Pet! by Angela McAllister. Charlotte lives with her partner and their cat in the Gloucestershire countryside in England.

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