The Adventures of Summer and Pop-Up
by Allen Henry

"One day Summer's parents Allen and Nailah took their daughter Summer to spend some time with grandfather (Pop-up)."

This highly colorful children’s story features Summer and her family. Pop-up and Nana are her grandparents, while Allen and Nailah are her dad and mom. At the lake with Pop-up, Summer catches a friendly fish named Moby, who boasts of his famous grandfather. He and Summer exchange cell phone numbers. Visits to the mall include Summer’s wish to ride on a flying horse. When she asks a rent-a-cop if they sell such animals there, he asks her what kind of formula she’s been drinking. Sometimes Pop-up tells her strange things. Nana explains that Pop-up’s mind is sometimes a bit weak. Swinging in the park, Summer encounters high-flying Thunderbird, who takes her for an instantaneous ride to San Francisco and back, and will appear again outside the window of the airplane when she and her parents take a flight to Thailand. There, everyone is friendly, and she has a boat ride.

Henry’s book, brightly illustrated on every page by JRaphael Edmundo Honasan, is written by a proud grandparent who strives to express with unconventional spellings and grammar the enthusiasm of a child less than a year old—his granddaughter Summer Saij Renee. He succeeds admirably in this task, creating a doting but possibly doddering granddad, a sensible, loving Nana, and parents as caring and daring as Summer will doubtless grow up to be. Certain references—Pop-up’s drinking beverages with the same name as Summer’s flying friend Thunderbird, and Moby’s namesake fish ancestor that died “at sea”—are neatly placed to entertain a read-aloud oldster. A visit to a hairdresser shows realistically how restless Summer can be, as well as how silly and tedious grown-ups can appear to such an active toddler. This is a charming read-to creation that will engage both adult readers and their eager young listeners.

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