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Book Review: "Down South for the Summer" by Patricia Bellamy-Mathis


Ready for a bit of nostalgia? Well if you’ve ever taken a road trip with family or gotten out of the city and "Gone Down South for the Summer", this is a terrific book to relive those experiences with your little one. Or maybe you haven’t? Either way, this book will take you there!


Patricia Bellamy Mathis has written a beautiful book that takes you on a 14-hour road trip with the whole family, and believe me she puts you right there in the back seat squished between the cousins. From playing the license plate game and all the singing, eating, laughing, talking and naps in between you’ll love reading and sharing these memories.


If you’re like me and have never gone “Down South” for the summer, you and your little one will be delighted by all the sights, sounds, adventures and “new cousins” you’ll find. She captures the whole experience so well, that it makes you feel like you’re part of the family. You can just smell the fresh air, taste the fresh vegetables from Grandma’s garden and hear the southern accents of neighbors paying a visit. You’ll even want to play in the grass for hours while your skin turns “into darker shades of caramels, mocha and chocolates”. After you wash off that “outside smell”, get the “itis” from Uncle’s freshly caught fish, you’ll want to fall asleep to the sounds of thunder and rain falling on the roof. You’ll also listen quietly as Grandma and Grandpa tell the family story and how they came to buy this family land for all generations present and future to come “Down South” to enjoy.


I really enjoyed this book. As the child of Caribbean parents, I was amazed at how familiar this felt and similar the experiences are when visiting family- even if in another country.


The combination of words and the complementary bright and vibrant illustrations make this a must-have in any child's library. Not to mention, this is a diverse children’s literature win!! It’s the perfect example of a book that has the power to show how we are all more alike than we are different.


No doubt this will be a bedtime (or anytime) reading favorite.


Hop, skip, jump, run and get this book. Get your copy at aspenneslibrary.com, Amazon or anywhere books are sold.


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