About the Holiday
So here we are in the hottest days of the summer – the dog days. Despite how it sounds, though, this period between July 3 and August 11 is not focused on those poor pooches panting on porches. Instead, it comes from the Romans and relates to the star Sirius—the dog star—which rises with the sun during midsummer. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, and the Romans believed that the hot, humid days were caused by Sirius combining its heat with that of the sun. No matter what the meaning or circumstance, the Dog Days give us another holiday to celebrate!
And Then Comes Summer
Written by Tom Brenner | Illustrated by Jaime Kim
Summer days are like no other days during the year. Full of light and the kind of weather that entices you to stay outdoors, the months of June, July, and August hold promises of beauty and fun. Every day and every place welcome summer in their own way and invite new adventures. “When the days stretch out like a slow yawn, and leaves and grasses sparkle with dew, and the cheerful faces of Johnny-jump-ups jump up…THEN throw on flip-flops and breathe the sweet air.”
In those flip-flops you’ll run past buzzing bumblebees, flying warblers, and Dad mowing the lawn to your bike. Pump up the tires, raise the seat, put on your helmet, and take off! When the sun stays up past bedtime “and crickets crick-crick in the evening air, and bugs as big as thumbs bang against windows…” then it’s time to play games until night falls.
When every day is a play day and you’re out running and jumping or at the beach, and you hear that “familiar jingle,” you know the ice-cream truck is on its way. Then race your friends “to be the first in line” to choose your favorite icy-cold treat. “When the dog days of summer roll around, and it’s so hot you’re practically panting, and not even the sprinklers provide relief…THEN it’s time to head to the lake.” On the way, watch the world go by through your open window. Feel the breeze and enjoy the smells, sounds, and sights of the trip.
As you approach the familiar vacation spot where “the silver lake winks through the trees, and old friends run to greet you…” then it’s time for swimming and tents and roasted marshmallows while you tell stories and “plan tomorrow’s adventures.”
Tom Brenner’s tribute to the wonders of summer reflects that free and easy feeling that vacation months bring to kids. The little moments that become favorite memories are all here, recorded in Brenner’s lyrical and evocative pages. The rhythm and repetition play out like the best summer days—some, nuggets of individual joy and others, building to the excitement of eagerly anticipated vacations.
Jaime Kim transports kids to backyards, main streets, lemonade stands, and finally a shimmering lake in her sun-drenched illustrations of kids enjoying the freedom of summer. Readers can almost hear the shouts, sprinkler spray, running feet, fireworks, and crackling campfire as they turn the pages to join Kim’s enthusiastic kids in their summertime romps.
And Then Comes Summer is a joyous book to share with kids during summer or any time of the year.
Ages 4 – 8
Candlewick Press, 2017 | ISBN 978-0763660710
Discover a portfolio of illustration work by Jaime Kim on her website!
Dog Days of Summer Activity
Flip-Flop Flower Pots
Have you outgrown your flip-flops from last year? You can turn them into fun plant holders with just a few buttons and mounting squares! Paint the pots with your own designs to make your hangings even more unique!
- Small flip-flops with elastic heel backings
- Decorative buttons
- Glue or needle and thread
- Small plastic flower pots
- Paint for decorating the pot (optional)
- Flower or plant
- Mounting Squares
- Plant the flower or plant in the flower pot
- Decorate the straps of the flip-flops with the buttons. You can glue them on or sew them on with a needle and thread
- Place the flower pot into the flip-flop, letting it rest on the toe separator and securing it with the elastic backing
- Attach mounting squares to the back of the flip-flop to hang.
Picture Book Review