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Summer: The Magic Blanket Review by Brandi Tesreau

By Litsa Bolontzakis
Publications Hummingbird International Inc.

Visit a Greek island in the middle of summer just by opening the pages of the beautiful hardcover book Summer: The Magic Blanket by Litsa Bolontzakis. As the main character reminisces about summers past, readers will be drawn into her world while catching a glimpse of Greek life in the summer.

Litsa writes in first person, which connects readers to the story. Children will be able to relate to the everyday experiences of the main character, a young red-headed girl, even if they don't live in Greece. By the end of the book, children will probably be thinking of their own special summer memories and will be able to agree with the story's message that it really is the simple things in life that make you the happiest!

Daniela Lekina's whimsical paintings are almost magical, depicting movement on every page. I could almost feel the ocean's breeze and the soft waves lapping the shore. Her illustrations make this an attractive keepsake! I think girls will especially like this book since the story is told through a young girl's eyes. The girl also shares many memorable moments with her mother, and the book's pages are filled with gorgeous, colorful pictures of fruits, flowers, butterflies, and sunsets. I enjoyed reading this story to my 6-year-old daughter.

Included in the back of the book are two Greek recipes you may want to try: Watermelon Salad with Feta cheese and Miniature Koulourakia. The Koulourakia looks fun and tasty, and I can't wait to make it. I did contact the author to clarify the amount of heavy cream, so if you purchase this book and want to make the recipe, you will need 2 cups of heavy cream beaten into about 5 cups of whipped cream.

I think this is a great mother/daughter book, but it would also complement a unit study about Greece. I was actually able to tie this book in to our Bible study on the book of Corinthians since Corinth is in Greece. Perfect timing! Visit Litsa's website to order her charming book, Summer: The Magic Blanket, for $19.95. You can also view her other children's books about the seasons and peruse a sampling of Greek recipes.

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2011