Phillis Gershator







About me



Summer is summer jacket

Summer Is Summer

co-author, David Gershator

illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Holt, 2006

 * Best New Books, Scholastic Parent and Child,     June/July 2006
* Art featured on the cover of Booklist, July, 2006
* Starred review, School Library Journal
  * CCBC Choices, 2007

From the book jacket:

A rose is a rose
everything grows--
When summer is summer is summer.

What is summer? For many children summer is lemonade and salty air, baseball and ice cream, fireflies and starry nights, and much, much more. Join four friends as they explore the outdoor world of summer and all its sensory pleasures.
     The Gershators’ evocative language and Sophie Blackall’s imaginative pictures celebrate this fun-filled season.

A little about the book:

Says Phillis--

    We wanted to write an ode to summer--and thought of roses: “A rose is a rose is a rose,” and the rest followed. Baseball, seashore, ice cream.... Thank you, Gertrude Stein, for the inspiration. And thank you, Christy Ottaviano, for helping us get the words and rhythm just right.

Says David--

     It started with a rose is a rose. I think Gertrude would be pleased with this echo of her famous rose for children.

We both say--check out our CD featuring Summer Is Summer set to music!

From the reviews:

“The lovely image [on the cover] sets the tone for this picture book celebration of friends having fun in the summer.... The sophisticated poet Gertrude Stein’s famous line, ‘A rose is a rose is a rose,’ is quoted on the frontispiece, and her very simple words are echoed in the book’s chanting text....The simple, joyful sounds and sunny artwork will appeal to young listeners.” Booklist  

“In this very unique picture book the authors have brought together a collection of images and memories to create a warm, salty, sandy, sticky, grassy portrait of a summer as seen through the eyes of children. A minimal rhyming text with plenty of repetition give the text a sing-song quality which makes this book perfect for reading aloud. Watercolor paintings fill every double page spread with sharp and often luminous color. The artist makes dramatic shifts, showing large objects in the foreground set against wide and expansive backgrounds. Her folkloric style perfectly captures the magical and nostalgic feeling that runs throughout the book.” www.lookingglassreview.com

“The rhyming text is bouncy and brief and captures the exhilaration of this time of year with its seemingly endless days and opportunities for fun....Whimsical watercolor illustrations feature a dreamy world of fantasy and reality, with layered perspectives and strong patterns that undulate across the spreads.... This offering is perfect for one-on-one sharing and for early readers, who will delight in the scenes of summer.” School Library Journal, starred review

"There's a lot to like about this one, from its sunny, playful cover art to the clever use of shifting, changing perspective throughout. No surprise there, with Sophie Blackall as the illustrator––I just love the way she draws children, sweet and soulful and mischievous all at once....That the boys and girls, all friends and happily enjoying the best of the season, reflect diversity is an added bonus." Sprout's Bookshelf

"...a catalog of summer sights, sounds, and activities in a lyrical picture book featuring trees and bees, holes and moles, logs and frogs, clouds and crowds, and much more summer fun. Some children won't be able to to resist coming up with their own summery observations. A pool is a pool is a pool perhaps? Cool is cool is cool? Sophie Blackall's inviting illustrations picture a quartet...of children, two white and two black." CCBC Choices

Art by Sophie Blackall

Summer is summer frog