Mama, Is It Summer Yet? is a children’s book about the anticipation of summertime, written and illustrated by Nikki McClure. The story follows a mother and her son, who asks many times if it’s summer yet. The boy asks this each passing day as leaves return to the trees, flowers start to blossom, and the cold of winter fades away. In anticipation of summertime, the boy and his mother build a fort and start planting seeds in their garden. When summer finally arrives, the pair sit under a tree on a sunny day and eat some fruit. The story ends here, with summer arriving as a kind of reward for the boy’s patience and anticipation.
The cut-paper illustrations have a seasonal quality as well. When the book starts out, most of the illustrations are in black and white, with splashes of blue indicating cold weather (winter). When spring rolls around, the black and white pictures are seen with pops of yellow. And when summer arrives, the berries are bright red.
How can parents use this book?
This story is effective in describing (and showing, with illustrations) the changing seasons. As the boy asks his mother if it’s summer yet, we can see when it is winter and then when it’s spring. Parents could use this book to teach their kids about the seasons, and then show them what they look like. You could also ask them what season comes between winter and summer, and how they know which season it is. So if your child says the last page shows summer, they might say something like, “Because the fruit is out”, or “Berries don’t grow when it’s cold”, or “The sun is warm”, or “It’s hot outside”. For example:
“On this page, what season do you think it is?” or “What part of the year is it?” “How do you know it’s (winter/spring/summer)?” Feel free to adapt the way you talk and ask about the seasons depending on your child’s age.
You can search for the title in Burnaby or Vancouver public libraries at: