A Cool Summer Tail

School Library Journal - May 2014

"In a rhyming text, Summer Tail takes a more lighthearted look at what animals do to keep cool in the summer. Each animal baby asks its mother if humans do whatever that animal does to stay cool. For instance, squirrels lick themselves to make heat disappear from their skin. Large paintings depict the animals enacting their summer routines, while a smaller pen-and-ink sketch shows a human trying to do the same." 
-Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ

Kirkus Reviews - February 2014

"...Budding naturalists will come away with a sense of the variety of ways wild animals living in temperate climates stay cool (human strategies, aside from sweating and swimming, aren’t covered). They will find further detail and activities related to seasonal adaptations both at the end and on the publisher’s website. With its companion volume, a first introduction to the topic."

Library Media Connection

In this story, readers can compare themselves to animals and their methods of staying cool in the summer. Students will learn about painted turtles swimming in ponds, black-capped chickadees perching in the shade, and wood frogs digging in the dirt. The book lists and describes 12 different animals. Facts were reviewed by staff at the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Some of the illustrations were inspired by animals at the Cincinnati Zoo. For Creative Minds is included in which teachers may photocopy the information and use additional puzzles or quizzes found online to aid in instruction. Missy Van Dusen, Librarian, Lubbock, Texas [Editor’s Note: Available in e-book format and paperback.] RECOMMENDED

Horn Book Guide

"How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?" A fox mother responds with, "No Panting! No Puffing!...They sweat through their skin." Other animal conversations follow similarly, revealing facts about how mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians cool themselves.

Midwest Book Review - May 2014

"A Cool Summer Tail" is a companion title to "A Warm Winter Tail," exploring ways different animals adapt to the heat of summer and comparing them to ways of human adaptation to heat. Cleverly written to educate and appeal to young readers (age 4 and up), "A Cool Summer Tail" poses amusing hypothetical question from a child to his mother about how humans adapt to hot weather in comparison to specific animals. The versed narrative is hypnotic, entrancing and informative, presented in this basic riddle format. Lusciously detailed illustrations of animals such as deer, bees, foxes and turtles are contrasted with small whimsical black and white stick sketches of human children trying out different heat-adaptive strategies. Finishing with the usual For Creative Minds section, with Animals and Summer Adaptation Fun Facts, a Compare and Contrast section, Summer Animal Matching Activity and Animal Classes with numbered color key illustrations, "A Cool Summer Tail" offers a full enriched array of learning opportunities to young readers of nonfiction nature education.

San Francisco Book Review/Kids Book Review - May 2014

This book’s illustrations are very realistic and life-like, and the pages at the end of the book give some interesting extra background information. I found the sketches that illustrate humans doing things that animals would usually do funny, but I think I would have like this book better if I had been younger. I would recommend this book for a read-aloud for Pre-K to K, and an independent read for 1st to 2nd grade.
Reviewed by Faith, Age 10

Feathered Quill Book Review - March 2014

This is a nice introduction to animal cooling methods young students will enjoy. The tale, presented as a story in rhyme, teaches about each animal or insect after they pose the question “How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?” Two rhyming stanzas on opposite pages lets the reader know how each creature stays cool during those hot summer days. The artwork is vividly colored, bold, and has definite kid-appeal with baby animals. Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with unusual words such as “splinters.” In the back of the book are four pages of activities. Additional activities can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.

Heck of a Bunch-March 2014

This book features an array of animals as they ask their mamas what humans do to stay cool. The animals wonder if humans perch in shades, grow new hair, flatten their wings, or other things that animals and critters do to stay cool. The questions are asked and answered in rhythmic form. A Cool Summer Tail is a good way to teach youngsters how different animals brave the heat. The 'For Creative Minds' section in the back of the book enhances learning with animals and summer adaptation fun facts, and summer and winter adaptations: compare and contrast. There's also a Summer Animal and Animal Classes Matching Activity. It makes learning about adaptations fun!

Tif Talks Books - April 2014

Readers discover through the views of animals how they stay cool during the warm summer months.  With little humorous illustrations of humans using animal ways, there is so much to discover throughout this story.

So Cal City Kids - May 2014

This companion to the award-winning A Warm Winter Tail features many of same animals but this time, with their summer adaptations, offering an important “compare and contrast” opportunity. My son and I enjoyed this book and really found this a fun book to read. It’s fun to see how the different animals keep cool in the summer and the comical drawings of the children such as a child with a turtle shell. It will make children laugh out loud and learn all at the same time. A great book for children in grade K-3. My son and I definitely give this a thumbs up!

Roundtable Reviews - June 2014

Excellent illustrations of the various animals will focus the child’s attention of each set of animals (mother and baby) and the rhymed text is fun to read too. Once you have finished reading, ask your child how humans deal with different changes in the weather.

Learning Table Reviews - June 2014

While we are trying to keep cool this summer, it is fun to learn about how animals stay cool and adapt to different weather conditions. Did you know squirrels use their tongues to stay cool? Or that bees' wings are like little ceiling fans for their hives? We are learning lots of interesting animal facts, plus the beautifully illustrated pages are inspiring us to go outside to observe and draw in our nature journals.

Kid Lit Reviews - August 2014

The cute fox baby continues on panting, as example for its mama, but she tells it no, humans sweat through their skin. Each animal wonders if humans stay cool the same way they stay cool in the summer. I like this for a reason the author may not have intended. I like that these animals assume we might cool down as they do, because we humans have a tendency to think others behave as we do and this can help kids learn not to make those assumptions. For example, a new kid at school may have different holidays or customs and kids should not assume that child celebrates as they do, or knows the same playground games, or even have the same after school activities.