A pair of cousins 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 for the summer holidays. Natsumi’s nervousness about meeting her cousin from across the sea disappears when she discovers Jill is a lot like her: they both love hot sandy beaches, cool watermelon, and bursting fireworks. But what about Natsumi’s cherished cicadas? What will Jill think of the insects that play the music of summer?
*** NATSUMI’S SONG OF SUMMER comes out in May 2020 ***
“Immersive illustrations and rich poetry urge young readers to slow down and appreciate nature.” —Kirkus
“Words by Robert Paul Weston and pictures by Misa Saburi are perfectly matched in their delicate beauty and sensitivity to the fears and pleasures of childhood…Natsumi’s Song of Summer needs to be experienced in its totality in order to fully appreciate the accomplishment of this author and illustrator team.” —Imaginary Elevators
“Weston writes his tale in elegant tanka…Saburi’s thick black lines recall traditional Japanese woodblock prints, and she portrays the creatures and summer flowers that Natsumi treasures in rich detail. In the collaborators’ (Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms) handling, Natsumi’s cross-cultural friendship with Jill centers on a shared love of natural life and models openness to new experiences.” —Publishers Weekly
“A lovely combination of two artistries. The story is written in a series of compelling and lyrical tanka poems…[the illustrations] feature large rich landscapes often over double pages, vibrant flowers, and images of two young children (and a cat!) focused exclusively on their friendship and their delight in shared experiences.” —CM Magazine