Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Jackson Grown Up

Seven-year-old Summer Jackson is itching to be a grown-up. As she sees it: "Two scoops of ice cream are not enough. Hand puppets are not that funny. And eight o'clock is way too early for bed." So Summer says goodbye to childhood, dons a blazer and high heels, and starts a career as a consultant, charging her classmates for her services. Her parents go along with their daughter's ambitions and, by abdicating their responsibilities, gently get her to see the downside of being the sole grown-up of the family. Doing dishes is no fun!

First-time author Teresa Harris gives us an engaging, modern character in Summer Jackson. Her feisty protagonist clearly knows her own mind, and she's not afraid of going after what she wants. AG Ford's illustrations show us Summer in action, clomping around in her high heels and wearing her sunglasses in the tub. All in all, this is an enjoyable picture book to share with young readers eager to reach their next birthday. It put me in mind of Amy Schwartz's wonderfully sly Bea & Mr. Jones, a picture book in which a kindergarden and her dad switch places with surprising results. Great fun!

Summer Jackson Grown Up
by Teresa E. Harris
illustrations by AG Ford
Katherine Tegen Books, 32 pages
Publication: May 2011

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