Every summer, a girl’s family drives down the same roads, passes through the same towns, and spends a week at the same beachside motel. Year after year, everything is comfortingly predictable: the families they see, the rhythm of the days, the stars, the bonfires, and even the pattern the tractor makes as it rakes the sand on their beach.
But this year, something is different: the girl, our narrator, meets a new friend who shows her how to dive under the waves and spot satellites in the night sky. When it’s time to go, she’s sad to part ways. But she knows she can look forward to seeing him next year.
Illustrated in a restrained, retro palette, this story perfectly captures the timelessness of a summer holiday. The effect is nostalgic and almost hazy, as if seen in a dream, a memory, or through the shimmering air of a hot summer day.
"Larsen is as excellent as ever with his child's-eye-view of the world and wonder at the simple things."
"Cool teals, navy blues, and rust colors are the name of the game here, and when Stewart captures the orange glow of a campfire and the sun beams penetrating the back window of the car, as the girl's family drives away and her friend waves goodbye, the warmer colors pop off the page."
"A lovely jaunt, filled with engaging verve and old-fashioned charm."
"Being an adult means never having enough time and craving vacations, so it's easy to forget that, for kids, summer break comes with a certain amount of sadness... Calm and straightforward, this is a beautiful book."
"Crisp and accessible...use this in summer- or beach-themed storytimes, or share it as a prelude (or postlude) to a similar summer getaway."
"...both childlike and sophisticated... affectionately captures the nostalgic air of vacations past, seashells gathered and summer friends left behind - a great book for the car ride."
""See You Next Year" is presented through a shimmery summer haze, through veils of wonder. It has comfort, invitation, and timeless appeal."
"In simple, straightforward text, Larsen captures the wonder of summer vacation, the comfort in the familiar, and the delight in finding a new friend. Stewart's muted palate and retro-style illustrations evoke the comforting feeling and wistfulness of warm summer days." — Cooperative Children's Book Centre's CCBC Choices 2016
"Perfectly captures the moments that make memories...a lovely, thoughtful piece of bookmaking."
"This tranquil, evocative picture book resonates with intimate tenderness."
"Enuring and relatable, See You Next Year is a gentle read that will have readers eager to get away for something simple this summer."
"Through his deceptively simple text, author Andrew Larsen has the exceptional ability to evoke a strong sense of time, place and emotion."
"...this gentle story hums along with rhythms of a less frenetic era... With its nostalgic tone, See You Next Year should be lingered over like the hazy days of a too-short vacation."
"A good seasonal read-aloud choice to prompt discussion or provide inspiration for a first-person writing assignment."
"It's everything I was hoping it would be."
"A stylishly illustrated celebration of the annual week at the beach."