As a young mouse eagerly looks forward to everything that autumn will bring -- friends at school, fallen leaves to play in, pumpkins to carve -- his mother gently encourages him to join in all the summery joys that surround him right now -- dancing fireflies, sunny beaches, peaches fresh from the orchard. In this delightful tale, a follow-up to her book Now It Is Winter
, Eileen Spinelli reminds readers of all ages that they can be content in the moment and find happiness wherever they are. Children are sure to love Mary Newell DePalma's soft and whimsical paintings of mice celebrating summer.
"Reprising the theme of Now It Is Winter (2004) this companion volume is likewise (as Kirkus wrote at the time) a gentle paean to living in the now.' Constructed as a back-and-forth between a young mouse who yearns for cinnamon muffins, jack-o'-lanterns, piles of leaves, school's start and other tokens of autumn, and his mother's counter-invitations to enjoy fresh peaches, a picnic on the beach, a glass of cold lemonade and like pleasures of summer, Spinelli's narrative is less about realistic dialogue than about poetic arrangements of sounds and rhythms: 'Will it be autumn soon? / Will a leafy breeze waken me / by ruffling the curtains at my window? / Will it dapple the air with apple-y scent? / Soon?' Clad in overalls or sun dresses and sporting fur in a multiethnic variety of colors, the saucer-eared clan in DePalma's sweet illustrations enjoys its outdoorsy summer idyll in both quiet and rowdy ways as the interchange continues, the skies gradually darken to starry blues, and at last mother and child 'go barefoot down the stairs / and out into the shimmery, summery night' for some quality time together. The soft visual and verbal cadences make this as apt for bedtime reading as for providing reassurance to impatient young mouselings that present joys will indeed in time give way to future ones.' "
"Over and over, in this seasonal picture book, a little mouse asks his mother, 'Will it be autumn soon?' and he describes yet another aspect of the season that fills him with longing, such as eating warm cinnamon muffins, making a Halloween costume, or watching his friends on the yellow school bus wave as it toots and stops at his house. Each time, after answering the same question yet again, his patient mother leads him back to the pleasures of summer, unfolding all around him, and encourages him to enjoy 'now.' Even children who love summer best may find themselves wavering as they listen to the single-minded character acting for fall and recalling its highlights. Clearly showing the joys of summer in scenes of mouse children at play, DePalma's nicely detailed acrylic paintings create an effective visual counterpoint to Spinelli's well-chosen words and evocative images expressing the little mouse's dreams of fall. A good choice for reading aloud at the beginning of school."