The special relationship between a child and their grandparent is worth celebrating. The Best Summer Guest is a fun, playful read that both grandparents and children will cherish for years to come.
The Best Summer Guest by Tuula Pere follows a young boy named Jonty who visits his grandmother Gladys’ house for the summer. Initially frightened and worried that his parents are leaving him for so long, Jonty experiences a host of fun, exciting things that ease both his mind and soul. From going to the farmer’s market to baking to visiting Spruce Cape cottage, Jonty and his grandmother’s strong, loving bond is apparent through it all.

Original and memorable, the story follows a logical progression with ideas and scenes many readers will relate to. The experience of parent’s leaving home is often jarring and uncomfortable for little ones, but Pere’s gentle way of easing readers into the often momentous event goes a long way in making the experience feel bearable and by the end of it, pleasurable and fun.

The playful, action-packed prose help the plot progress at a good pace, with swift, dynamic mini-adventures that complement the character’s feelings and emotions. It is wonderful to see Jonty’s character transition from a fearful, cautious young boy to a brave, bold adventurer who is willing to try new things. With themes of family, love and adventure, The Best Summer Guest shows how the little things grandparents do for their grandkids can have a big impression on them.

What truly stands out about the text is the illustration style. The book features mostly black and white illustrations with sparse pops of color on each page to draw a reader’s attention to important characters and objects in the story; a unique feature that sets it apart from other titles in the genre. Rendered in a cozy style, the illustrations match the meaning the text is trying to convey, adding a real yet whimsical element to the overall reading experience.