About the Book:
Book: The Smell of Summer
Author: Mary Ann Hake
Genre: Picture Book
Release date: May 15, 2023
Explore the smells of summer with April, a blind girl, and her menagerie of pets.
Visit the county fair, the seashore, Grandpa’s farm, and the zoo, and camp with April’s family in the woods—each place has its unique fragrances.
“As summer thoughts stir in my mind,
I wonder what new smells I’ll find.”
The back of the book contains activities using the sense of smell.
A month or two ago, my girls and I enjoyed reading The Smell of Spring together. Now, we got to enjoy The Smell of Summer. They loved experiencing the season through the nose of a young blind girl.
This book is written in rhyme, with each page having four lines of poetry. Each page has a different topic. One double page spread talks about the smell of various flowers, another has bees and the smell of honey, and on one page, the girl’s father is barbecuing meat, which she enjoys smelling. Some smells are not so pleasant, like when her dog gets all wet. She also enjoys the smell of the county fair, the beach, camping in the forest, and the fireworks on Fourth of July.
The pictures in The Smell of Summer are delightful. They show a girl who, although she is handicapped, enjoys life experiencing everything around her. This is a unique way to explore the world through a sense that is not normally talked about in children’s books. It is also a fun way to think about seasons. The only thing I did not enjoy about this book was that on one or two pages the rhymes felt forced and the rhythm was awkward. Otherwise, this book was a joy to read aloud and enjoy with my little girls. They loved looking for the girl’s pets, too; she has a variety of different animals.
About the Author:
Mary Ann Hake, author of the Smells of the Seasons picture book series, has loved learning, reading, and writing for as long as she can remember. She has scribbled stories and poems since she first learned to write and has published hundreds of stories, articles, poems, puzzles, devotions, and more for both children and adults plus written hundreds of book reviews. She loved working in a bookstore and as a librarian and enjoyed reading to children at story times and conducting summer reading programs. She has also taught writing to children and at writers’ conferences. In addition to writing, she continues to work as a freelance editor. Visit her website, www.maryannhake.com, and sign up to receive monthly activities for children and updates on future books.
More from Mary Ann:
My mother introduced me to books at a very young age. Mom read to me nearly every day—beginning with picture books then adding longer stories and poetry. I loved books and soon memorized the text of favorites so I could turn the pages and “read” them myself. (My own daughters did the same.) I could hardly wait until I went to school and learned to read so I could devour books on my own. In honor of my mom, The Smell of Summer’s release date is her birthday, May 15. I am her firstborn and her only summer baby. She always encouraged my writing.
My four-book Smells of the Seasons series are told in rhyme because that appeals to children. The Smell of Summer shares summer scenes from the life of April, a blind girl who uses her sense of smell to help her experience her world. The story includes elements that offer a fun companion text for connection to science including the senses, nature settings, animals, flowers, vegetable gardening, and other food. This is the second book in the series with April and her menagerie of pets.
Most people love summertime. This delightful picture book will stir up memories of summer experiences and offer some you may wish to enjoy this year. As the final page says:
I love the many summer smells.
So many stories each one tells.
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