Martin and Sylvia live in tall house with lots of windows. In their backyard is all a five and a seven year old could ever want: a brook, a tree swing, a playhouse and a garden full of magical friends. Join this enterprising brother and sister for a year of delight and wonder. Whether it's the heat of summer, or the deep snows of winter, every day is an adventure!
ABOUT THE STORIES
This is a collection of 13 summer stories, for the 13 weeks of summer
A Trip to the City
Martin wakes one morning to see Momma and Daddy packed and ready for an adventure: they’re all going to the City! The Big City! Hotel rooms, huge buildings, scores of people, different languages! It’s a first for Martin and Sylvia. And a trip to a very special restaurant tops it all off.
Martin’s friend Julian is coming over and Sylvia knows that he loves to play spies. Sylvia likes spies too but she really wants to be on Martin and Julian’s team - not by herself. When Julian suggests they all be together, Martin wonders who they will spy on. Their solution makes for an exciting afternoon.
The Cook Out
Visitors are returning to Martin and Sylvia’s house — friends they haven’t seen in a year! The brother and sister can’t wait to do all the fun things they did last summer: cook-outs, tag, ball games and ‘explorers’. But once the friends arrive, Martin finds that Jacob doesn’t want to join in the fun they planned. Not only that, but Jacob speaks rudely and teases Martin! Daddy gives Martin some useful advice on how to treat those who tease, and Martin is surprised to see that it changes everything.
Sylvia has been waiting a whole year to go to Animal Camp! She has heard all about it from her brother Martin. But when the time finally arrives, she is no longer quite sure. With Daddy’s encouragement, she decides that she will try camp “for a little while”. How amazed she is to meet ‘the bravest of forest animals’ and find that the very same bravery lives in her as well!
“Yo ho ho” and “Shiver me timbers!” are not what is usually heard on Town Lake during Lake Days, but this year Pirates have invaded the event, complete with head scarves, gnarly beards and thick pirate accents. Could that be Martin in the black pirate’s hat? Could that be Sylvia at the helm of the pirate canoe? Could that be Daddy leading them to invade a friend’s sailboat and attempt to steal some ‘booty’? Listen and find out.
The Drawing Contest
It’s “Animal Week” at the library. In celebration, there is a children's drawing contest, to be judged by a real artist. Of course Martin wants to enter. But what animal could Martin draw? There are no bobcats or foxes in his yard for him to study! And Pickles the cat simply won’t sit still! Who could he possibly draw?
The cousins are coming! They live on the other side of the country, so Martin and Sylvia only get to see them every few years. When they arrive at their house, brother and sister initially marvel at how different they look from the last time they were together. It isn’t long, however, until all four are playing “Astronauts and Aliens” together like they have never been apart. Martin and Sylvia agree that cousins are special.
This is Camping
It’s time for their annual camping and canoeing trip on Deer Lake, and Martin and Sylvia are excited to enjoy all of their camping traditions: setting up the tents, exploring the creek next to site #42, and canoeing to all their favorite spots. All goes according to plan until it becomes clear that the neighboring campers have an entirely different picture of what is fun in the woods. The whole family learns that camping means different things to different people.
Martin and Sylvia don’t go to the town school; instead they are schooled at home. And Momma and Daddy have a special way of telling when they are ready for certain lessons. Usually Momma and Daddy notice when they show an interest in a particular subject — but sometimes something unexpected happens, which can turn the day’s lesson on end.
The Enchanted Frog
Momma is canning tomatoes, and Daddy is cleaning the basement. Martin and Sylvia don’t want any part of it. But when they try to find something to do on their own, they can’t agree on a good idea. What could they possibly do? The thought of Mrs. Brown’s delicious peach pies draws them to the neighboring farm, where they find Mrs. Brown having her quiet “idea time” by the frog pond. When the children join her in her watchful place, they find the best magic flows from the quietest spot!
Fairies love the space where two different things meet: like forest and field, or garden and house. When the family takes a day-trip to the ocean, Martin and Sylvia are particularly excited to experience the fairy treasures that can be found between the sea and the land. And they discover that fairy magic can appear in the most unlikely places.
Babbit the Rabbit
Babbit is Sylvia’s very special stuffed rabbit. She talks to Babbit, she eats with Babbit, and she sleeps with Babbit. When she plays hide and seek with Babbit, Martin objects: Stuffed animals can’t play games! But Momma and Daddy know better. With a little whispering in Martin’s ear, Momma helps him see a whole new world of magic in his very own familiar back yard.
The Sick and Tired Day
It is the third day of rain in a row, and brother and sister are sick and tired of it. Nothing sounds like fun, until Momma suggests they have a Sick and Tired Day. What’s a Sick and Tired Day? A day to do things they would only do when they are ‘sick and tired’ of everything else. Suddenly morning play, snack time, lessons, lunch and even clean-up time become a game of finding things they have never done before.