Lisa Moser, illustrated by Stacy Schutt,
Clarion Books 2006
The stuff of happy childhood memories often includes seemingly endless summer days and in this story, the boy Charlie is living through just such a summer with his Grandpap. However living the idyll does not mean being idle and, although there is plenty of time to play together, it is always within the context of their labours—for central to the book is the progression from seed sown to watermelon harvested.
While picnicing, they seek out new shoots; they go fishing to celebrate the flowers appearing on the vine; and they go to the swimming hole when they count ten small watermelons. All the while, Grandpap is trying to guess what Charlie’s wish will be when he finds the one, perfect wishing melon. First time round, young readers/ listeners will be guessing too; subsequently, they will revel in their superior knowledge! Their attention will also be caught by the colorful and deceptively simple illustrations, which reflect the brightness of happy summer days—and remind us of the active waiting with their watermelon-themed borders. Schuett is also great at conveying facial expressions and the smiles are infectious.
Exploring as it does that special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren, this is a book that will stand up to being read again and again.
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