Cover Image: Natsumi's Song of Summer

Natsumi's Song of Summer

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Member Reviews

A delightful picture book with a story told in verse (tanka, similar to haiku). Although Jill from the United States of America does not speak Japanese, her cousin Natsumi welcomes her with open arms and the two form a sweet bond over fun activities. The iconic cicadas of Japan provide the soundtrack to their summer together, showing that wonder about our natural environment transcends culture.
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This is a sweet, lovely story of a young girl named Natsumi, who lives in Japan and loves everything about summer, especially the song of the cicadas. For her birthday, Natsumi gets a special treat- her cousin Jill from America has come to visit! They become fast friends, enjoying many of the same things- going to the beach, eating watermelon, watching fireworks. But when Jill asks what the buzzing noise is she keeps hearing, Natsumi becomes nervous- some people don't like insects, will Jill be freaked out by the cicadas? The story plays out very sweetly, and the illustrations capture the season and its joys very well. To top it all off, the entire story is told in tanka, a Japanese form of short poetry, that consists of five units of syllables following a pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. I remember be fascinated by haiku as a child, and would've loved learning about this form as well. This form of poetry is discussed at the back of the book, along with the significance of the cicada in Japanese culture. Recommended for the "making new friends" aspect, and the "learning about another culture" aspect.

#NatsumisSongofSummer #NetGalley
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I requested and received an e-ARC of this book from Robert Paul Weston and Penguin Random House Canada through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This was a fun story about cousins who are apprehensive about meeting for the first time, what if they don’t like the same things? It turns out they both love nature and all of its creatures and have a great time exploring together.  The illustrations were bright and colourful and accented the book beautifully.
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The sweetest book for the start of summer.  I'd like to use this in my PreK class next year!  Beautiful writing and illustrations.
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While the setting of this book is foreign, the plot is surprisingly relatable. The experience of the characters, wanting to share their joy in the things they find fascinating, is universal. Simple  but sweet.
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'Natsumi's Song of Summer' by Robert Paul Weston with illustrations by Misa Saburi is a story about a little girl who likes bug and the concern for a visitor who might not.

Natsumi, whose name  means 'the sea in summer' was born in summer.  She loves everything outdoors, including the cicadas.  When her friend Jill comes to visit, Natsumi wants to make sure Jill has a nice time.  She realizes that Jill may not like the things she likes, especially the bugs.

I really liked this gentle story of summer and kindness.  I loved that the whole book was written in a series of tanka poems.  Tanka are like haiku with 2 extra 7-syllable lines.  The illustrations are really colorful and cute.  I think this would be a fun book for little ones to read.

I received a review copy of this ebook from Penguin Random House Canada and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this ebook.
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This is a delightful story of summertime and the explosion of insects, and girls learning about them, told in a traditional Japanese style called tanka (a style that starts like Haiku, and adds two more lines).  It is hidden art (wonderful!) in the guise of a sweet summertime story of adventures with lovely illustration,

The story is for children perhaps age 5-7.  It can be read to younger children, but the more lyrical prose will sink deeper with another year or few of age.

A verse where one child is considering summer adventures shared (to share, a thought of future memory) with the other:
"Or at the obon
festival, where together
they danced, hands waving

giving thanks to the spirits
of their countless ancestors."

Because of the complexity and tense shifting, referring to the future with a past tense thought, I do recommend for age 5 and up (perhaps this would have worked better even at age 5 without the tense shifts), but the illustration is diverse and colorful and bold, and the artwork can work for the youngest child.  I do love the diverse cast and the cultural references, wonderful.

Beautiful work, a sweet gem.  
4 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and to Tundra Books for an advanced digital copy for review.
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I enjoyed this book. I didn't love it, nothing grabbed me about it, but it was a pleasant read. Natsumi loves summer, especially the summer insects. She is excited for her cousin to visit from far away, although we aren't told where from, and to show her all her favorite things. Natsumi lives cicadas but is afraid to share that with her cousins since some people are afraid of insects. It's a cute, gentle story about sharing time and interests with family. The illustrations are fine but since the story is about nature, I think I would have enjoyed less computerized-looking illustrations. The text is written entirely in tanka poetry, which is similar to haiku. It helps with the flow of the story, this could be used in April for National Poetry Month and in the summer.
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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review.  This book is about two cousins from different sides of the world and speaks different languages. They have never met and they want to communicate but it's difficult with the language barrier. The two find ways to connect through nature. Lovely illustratiuons too.
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A story written in the the form of tanka a traditional Japanese poem.  Natsumi  is named after the sea of the summer.  She loves learning about bugs and summer is her favorite time of year.   She meets her cousin Jill for the very first time.  What is Jill like and will they have anything in common?  These are the questions Natsumi is asking.  When they finally meet,  Jill like Natsumi likes to learn about new things together and they both learn from each other.  

A sweet story filled with tradition and curiosity.  

<i>A Special Thank you to Penguin Random House and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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This is an adorable little picture book! I had so much fun reading about Natsumi and her love of cicadas. I loved how passionate she was about them and how much she was reminded of summer because of them. I also enjoyed her sharing her love of cicadas with her cousin from across the ocean. She wanted to be aware of her cousin’s feelings. I loved that they have a common interest in insects even though they live so far away. 

*eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
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This was such a sweet picture book! Natsumi loves all things about summer in Japan, especially the cicadas. When her cousin, Jill, comes to visit, Natsumi wants to share her love of cicadas, but she's worried about Jill's reaction. Will she be scared? It was a cute story, and perfect for my preschooler as she overcomes her own fears of insects.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.
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Sweet illustrations and verses. Like cousin Jill, we are introduced to Natsumi's world -- an idyllic summer that celebrates Japan's culture.

I hope Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi consider a sequel to this where Natsumi travels to Jill's homeland and experiences the wonders of her world.
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Natsumi's Song of Summer was a lovely picture book about family, discovery, sharing heritage and overcoming fear. There were undertones of Japanese history and culture as well information about insects and poetry. So many pieces were so masterfully wound together to create this story of family and connection. I am looking forward to sharing it with my students during our poetry study.
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This is kind of an interesting picture book. I noticed as I was reading it that the lines were arranged in specific groupings. I figured it was some sort of poetry, and it is. A note at the back explains that the whole book is written in a series of tanka poems, which are similar to haiku but have two more lines of seven syllables each. This doesn't really affect the story one way or the other; it's just kind of a neat way of doing things.

The story is about a little girl named Natsumi who loves insects, especially the cicadas that sing in the summer. One year, her cousin Jill comes to visit from across the sea. Natsumi is worried that Jill won't like the cicadas, or that she might fear them. But Jill surprises her by embracing the insects and even offering to teach Natsumi about an insect from her own home country.

The illustrations are cute, but they're a little simple for my taste. There's a sort of flatness about them that doesn't seem to capture the magical way that Natsumi sees the insect kingdom. The pictures aren't terrible by any means, but they didn't really make me feel anything one way or the other.

Overall, this is kind of a cute book about family, passions, and insects. The unique poetic format and the supplemental information about cicadas at the back add a little more interest.
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The beautiful illustrations made me long for the days of summer, romping and playing in the sun 🌞 And I love that it was written entirely in verse. 

The information about cicadas and tanka poetry make this book a great selection for teachers and homeschoolers. 

Overall, this is a really sweet story about family and the fun innocence of summer vacation.
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Natsumi’s Song of Summer Is a delightful new picture book that will pull you into a reverie of summer.  When we all could use some words to make us feel the summer warmth, Robert Paul Weston is a master at creating stories that draw you right in.

Written in Japanese Tanka poem style, Natsumi’s Song of Summer is music to your ears: lyrical and captivating.  Along with the beautiful words, you get equally gorgeous illustrations by the talented Mika Sato to draw you in and keep you in Japan for the entire summer.  

When summer arrives, Natsumi is expecting a visitor, her cousin Jill.  They have never met but become fast friends enjoying all of the special summer events that Natsumi always enjoys.  Natsumi is eagerly awaiting the hum of the cicadas. Her mother say’s that summer doesn’t begin until you can hear the song of the cicada.  Natsumi is excited to share her favourite insect with Jill.  Together they enjoy catching them and drawing them, daydreaming about the next time they will see each other.

Natsumi’s Song of Summer will inspire you to try and create your own tanka poems and thankfully Robert Paul Weston gives you a handy lesson in writing them at the end of the story.
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This sweet, charming picture book set in Japan follows a little girl named Natsumi - born in summer and with a love or the season beyond all the others - who is nervous about the arrival of her visiting cousin from America, a girl her own age, who may or may not share Natsumi's love for summer and the various beautiful and multi-colored insects that brighten and enliven the season. Thankfully, when Jill arrives Natsumi learns the two little girls have a lot in common - a love for the warm summer weather, the beach, fireworks - and Natsumi is even delighted to introduce her cousin to the music of the cicadas, which Jill has never known before but to Natsumi symbolizes the entire season. The gentleness of the story - told in a series of traditional Japanese tanka poems (similar to haiku) - is married beautifully to the watercolor-toned artwork that reflects the book's Japanese themes and location, and is as warm and inviting to experience as summer itself. (Available May 12)  4/5 stars

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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Natsumi's Song of Summer is a lovely, little book about friendships and family.

Natsumi and Jill are cousins, but they are wildly different. When Jill comes to visit, Natsumi shows her everything about her life. The festivals, their ancestors, the beach, and watermelon! The cousins are very different, but embrace each other fondly. They are curious, friendly and loving. 

The unique part about this book (that I didn't notice until the ending comments in the book pointed it out) was that this book was written in tanka poems. Those are a type of Japanese poem! That's super unique! I can totally appreciate that aspect of this book and it only makes me wonder how we could use this book for education purposes!

Stories like these are a great way to introduce kids to each other's differences. We can love each other and embrace the strangeness of each other without being cruel. I think a book like this is a great addition to children's bookshelves everywhere!

I also enjoyed the simple, cartoon-y illustrations of this book. They were very cute! 

Four out of five stars!

Thank you to NetGalley, Tundra and Penguin Random House for giving me an opportunity to pick this book up!
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This was a very cute story about family, friendship, and culture. The art style was also very wholesome!

Two young cousins who are separated by language, continent and culture meet for the first time when Jill's family travels from America to Japan to stay with Natsumi's family during the summer holidays. Natsumi's nervousness about meeting her cousin from across the sea quickly disappears when she discovers that her cousin is a lot like her: they both love summertime's hot sandy beaches, cool refreshing watermelon, festivals and fireworks. Then Jill asks Natsumi about the strange buzzing sound that comes from the nearby trees, and Natsumi is nervous once again. What if Jill is frightened of Natsumi's cherished cicadas, the insects that sing the music of summertime?
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