Summer Sun Risin'
By Publishers Weekly
An African-American boy and his parents tend their farm while marking the transit of the ever-changing sun in this plainspoken paean to agricultural life. Tate’s stylized full-bleed paintings, shown to advantage in the book’s horizontal (10” x 8 1/2”) format, exaggerate the expansiveness of the plains by rendering the horizon as a gentle but unmistakable arc. It’s as if the farm were hugging the edge of a globe, the earth as round to the narrator’s eye as the constantly visible sun. The characters’ highly sculpted faces suggest the contours of the land, and their expressions radiate confidence and satisfaction. Adopting a… rural voice, W. Nikola Lisa… conjures up a compelling, comforting rhythm from the accumulation of small details: “Birds in the roost,/kittens in the yarn,/ Cows linin’ up/ down by the barn./ Pa cracks the door,/ I swing it wide./ Summer sun’s shinin’,/ floodin’ inside.