When a teacher asks a little boy what he did over the summer, he spins an elaborate tale that starts with him finding a treasure map in a bottle at the beach and gets ever more outrageous as he goes along. Before his story ends he tells of adventures that take him around the world and back. He concludes by saying his summer was “OK,” and he expects his teacher doesn’t believe him. But then there’s a twist!
The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer by Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud is a cute story perfect for summer daydreaming. The boy, whose name we never know, dresses in a quirky way, wearing a suit, tie, red socks and dress shoes. His dog goes everywhere with him, and together they run into a host of strange characters as they travel, including pirates, a submarine captain who likes to drink tea while sitting by a fire, and mummies in the desert. The two of them, as well as a meddling magpie, travel to India, China, France, and Egypt. They go into outer space in a rocket that looks like a giant wrench. They visit a tropical island and snorkel with fish.
Kids love a story with a twist, and I expect they’ll fall in love with this one, too, when they get to the end and find out the truth about the adventures. The illustrations, too, are fun to study for their whimsical details. I recommend The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer for readers aged 5 to 9.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.