A grandma summer
The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment
July 6, 2019
For this review I will start with a true story. Years ago I came across the picture book “Grandma Summer.” It is a delightful story about a grandma bringing her grandson to the shores of Oregon, opening up a family summer home and treating him to a summer like she had shared with his father years before.
The house was old, with white paint peeling off its wood, the porch a bit rickety, the yard overgrown and sea blown. The young boy was not quite sure about his grandma’s choice of a fun summer venue. Then he found a green globe of glass with a story. Children love adventure that captures their imagination and it seems this ball of glass had floated clear from a Japanese fishing net off the shores of Japan, traveling 4,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean to the beaches of Oregon. And had been found by his father as a child. The boy wanted to find one, too.
I was drawn to this story, just as my friend moved to Maui to be close to her family. She had a young grandson there who loved the ocean and loved his grandma even more. I won’t tell you the ending of the picture book but I will tell you what happened to my friend and her grandson.
She received the book and read it to him once, twice, a million times. It captured his imagination. He wanted to be the little boy in the story. He wanted to find a Japanese glass float made of green glass on the shores of his home. One day an excited call came as he related his shore scavenging adventure and great success to his Nonni. He had found a green glass Japanese float. And he has that glass float in his possession to this day as he is almost grown to adulthood.
This is the way books should be. A leap for the reader from imagination to reality. Something that makes one’s life better, bigger, adds joy and becomes a treat to share with others. If “Grandma Summer” is not your cup of tea, find a story that is. And let it envelop all that empty space that follows us everywhere!
Of course, if you really need something meatier for summer, or more sultry or intriguing, make a glass of sweet tea and curl up on that porch swing with the brilliance of “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, suggested in my last review. Or make a whole jar of sun tea and plunge into “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, again or for the first time. It’s quite the saga and even if you read it years ago, it could surprise you even more today! I’ll add a little trivia here ... Did you know that the original name for Scarlett chosen by Mitchell was Pansy. Can you imagine? It was a fortunate change to Scarlett, don’t you think?
If you insist on something newer, I have a mystery that may or may not capture your imagination. “The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton is uniquely written so the reader becomes the characters in the story and sees the viewpoints from all angles while solving the murder within. However, if that seems too much effort ... just relax and read “Grandma Summer” and reminisce your own childhood summers and what made them magical! And share those stories with the people around you. That will give them the opportunity to reminisce as well, and you might enjoy their stories, too.
Good summer! Good books. Good reading.
*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.