Summertime

Overview

Summertime and the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high...

Nothing captures the feelings of summer better than the much-loved song from Porgy and Bess, "Summertime." Its majestic imagery and deep spirituality touch listeners today as they have for generations. Now with acclaimed illustrator Mike Wimmer's lush oil paintings depicting a family's routine one summer day earlier in this century, an American classic takes on a whole new meaning. Including the score...

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Overview

Summertime and the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high...

Nothing captures the feelings of summer better than the much-loved song from Porgy and Bess, "Summertime." Its majestic imagery and deep spirituality touch listeners today as they have for generations. Now with acclaimed illustrator Mike Wimmer's lush oil paintings depicting a family's routine one summer day earlier in this century, an American classic takes on a whole new meaning. Including the score of the song, Summertime is both a gentle book for family sharing and a lavish gift to be treasured.

...There's a nothin' can harm you, With Daddy and Mama standin' by.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This shimmering picture-book adaptation of a Gershwin tune from Porgy and Bess may be primarily for adults, but Wimmer's (Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh) lifelike portraits of a vibrant, closely knit African-American family are a pleasure for anyone to behold. Beautifully capturing the look and feel of Southern summer days, the paintings show the children splashing in the pond where "fish are jumpin' " while the adults work the cotton crops ("the cotton is high"), nap ("the livin' is easy") or bake apple pie in the kitchen. Wimmer's almost photographic oil paintings shift the action from the 1930s, when Porgy and Bess was first staged, to more contemporary times, swathing the song's lyrics in a new light. For example, such lines as "One of these mornin's you're goin' to rise up singin'/ Then you'll spread your wings..." here take on a joyful meaning, showing the family at church with voices raised in song. Wimmer is in fine form here, suffusing with varying degrees of sunlight and haze his scenes bursting with leafy summer foliage and happy faces. Ages 5-up. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
"This shimmering adaptation of a Gershwin tune may be primarily for adults, but Wimmer's lifelike portraits of a vibrant, closely knit African-American family are a pleasure for anyone to behold," said PW. Ages 5-up. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess" is famous for many songs, but one of the loveliest is "Summertime." I wondered if this book would have an audience, but then a library patron told me that her four-year-old daughter's favorite song/picture book was In My Own Special Corner by Oscar Hammerstein. When I read that Mike Wimmer sang his daughters to sleep with "Summertime," I realized that songs and picture books can complement one another. Wimmer's full-page color paintings are so handsome and idyllic that each painting would be worth owning. The music is included, but unfortunately, not a CD or tape.
Kirkus Reviews
Wimmer takes as inspiration for his story in paintings the lyrics of the song, "Summertime," from Porgy and Bess. He captures the mood of a perfect summer day and family love; well-known phrases•"the livin' is easy," "the fish are jumpin'," "your ma is good lookin' "•become newly telling. Scenes of swimming, laboring, cooking, and lullabies give way to Sunday morning blessings in church; as the hours unfold, the older members of an African-American family offer reassurance to the children of the clan•that someday they'll "take to the sky," but until that time, "there's a nothin' can harm you/with Daddy and Mama standin' by." The musical score is included, but the words seem to sing themselves alongside the shimmering images. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757933325
  • Publisher: Alfred Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995

Meet the Author


Mike Wimmer has illustrated many books for children, including Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh, which was named an ALA Notable Children's Book and was called a "grand slam" in a starred review in Publisher's Weekly. He also illustrated Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh, which received the Orbis Pictus Award for nonfiction. He lives in Oklahoma with his family.
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