CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number . . . .June 19, 2015
A young girl travels to her annual summer vacation destination at the beach complete with everything that goes with it – roasting marshmallow, umbrellas on the beach, rainy days, starry nights, new friends. And next year.
I’m sure this book was written just for me. It evokes nostalgia that many adults of my advanced age feel when they recall their childhood vacations. The story is written in a poetic layout, with clipped sentences that provide just the atmosphere that one feels when packing everything into that precious week of summer vacation. No names are mentioned – just “me” “I” and “my friend” which makes the characters “everyone.” Larsen has purposely chosen every word to give the reader an experience and to bring up a memory.
Todd Stewart, with his woodcut and pencil crayon like illustrations, along with spare colour, has given just the right feel to the story. It’s hard to believe this is his first children’s book since he has a natural flair for picture book illustration. Most of the illustrations have two well chosen colours with a pop of something bright to catch the eye. Both author and illustrator are situated in eastern Canada, but the illustrations remind this Alberta girl of driving through the mountains every summer to British Columbia where the beach is a treat to a prairie kid. The characters are never seen face forward, giving the reader a feeling of going along for the ride and being a part of the magic of the vacation.
Summer vacations are both familiar and also full of possibilities, and See You Next Year is a gentle, open ended testament to the annual Canadian tradition where, for a very short time, everyone can forget about real life, shed the city and enjoy the warmth of making memories.
Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at Red Deer Public Library in Red Deer, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.