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The Summer Sisters and the Dance Disaster

The Summer Sisters and the Dance Disaster

by Alex Shearer

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When the Summer sisters go into business not only to forecast weather but also to sell the weather which they dance into existence, one serious misstep leads to disaster.


When the Summer sisters go into business not only to forecast weather but also to sell the weather which they dance into existence, one serious misstep leads to disaster.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it...except for the Summer Sisters. Melissa, Patricia and honorary sister Arthur have such success with their weather forecasting business that they decide to branch out by providing made-to-order weather with fancy dances from P.G. Two Shoe's Weather Forecasting Around the World (Including Weather Dances for Beginners). Business is soon booming as they supply sunbeams for their customers to take with them on vacations and weekend picnics. The Summer Sisters work overtime to supply the growing demand, and everything is sunny at the weather shop until one misstep causes a solar eclipse that plunge the little town of Callender Hill into round-the-clock darkness. As the townsfolk stumble about in the dark, the Summer Sisters struggle to find the fancy footwork that will mend their magic. Originally published in Great Britain, much of the clever wordplay in the text may be lost on American readers. Still, the cast of eccentric characters, humorous plot and wonderfully energetic line drawings will keep young readers engaged.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-5Shearer takes a commonly voiced wish, mixes it with a large dose of humor, and adds a dollop of fantasy to produce a lively plot. When their parents move away and leave them on their own, Melissa, Patricia, and their brother (and honorary sister) Arthur Summer inherit the family weather-forecasting business. Although their predictions are successful, the youngsters still can't pay their bills. While casting about for ways to earn extra money, they discover an amazing book of weather dances. The siblings, who find it difficult to cooperate on anything, finally manage to learn the dance for "Fine and Sunny Weather" and quickly fill a barrel with sunbeams. After satisfying their first customer, they quickly find themselves overwhelmed with orders. This leads to sloppy dancing, which produces some unexpected weather. When they cause an eclipse that darkens the town for days, the Summer Sisters are convinced that it isn't so great to control the weather after all. Reminiscent of Margaret Mahy's work, Shearer's book is not quite as wacky or frenetic. While the characters are not fully drawn, readers will enjoy the silliness of their dialogue as well as their unlikely experiences. This light read, paired with undistinguished pen-and-ink illustrations, could add an amusing touch to weather units.Maggie McEwen, Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Unable to pay the bills simply forecasting weather, three young people decide to sell weather itself, 50 pence the sunbeam, with predictable results. Using magic tokens, the Summer sisters Melissa and Patriciaþplus little brother Arthur, whom they dub an honorary sisterþactually predict the weather with perfect accuracy, but since the pounds just aren't rolling in, the three turn to an overdue library book and dance up barrels full of rain clouds and sunny days to dispense. Disaster ensues, as first a vacation-ruining cloud gets in with the sunbeams, and then when Arthur accidentally snuffs out the sun. Supported by a cast of stock eccentrics and bemused parents, the sisters make a lively, contentious team, posing with disheveled grace in Kenyon's small, frequent black-and- white ink drawings. (Fiction. 10-12)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.79(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.53(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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