A summer festival enjoyed by all in huge, cool watermelon swimming pools!
The “watermelon swimming pools,” eagerly awaited by everyone each summer!
Clever imagination to beat the heat
Watermelon Swimming Pools is a picture book that develops this refreshing and expansive fantasy.
It is a sleepy country village. Each year, when the summer sun heats up, “watermelon swimming pools” open. An enormous watermelon splits into two, thus allowing all villagers to dive in and play. Indeed, the watermelon swimming pools are the focus of everyone’s attention. Men working in rice paddies, youngsters playing jumpsies, and women hanging out the laundry to dry all welcome the news of the opening of the watermelon swimming pools. Grownups and children alike jump into the cool watermelon pieces, digging out the meat of the fruit and immersing themselves. Youngsters play by throwing the flesh of watermelon at one another. Some dive from watermelon leaves while others make huge sculptures from watermelon seeds and meat. Looking at the villagers as they forget their daily routines for the moment and enjoy the summer in the watermelon swimming pools, readers, too, will become joyful. In particular, it will be sufficient for children even just to imagine the variety of games that can be played in these sufficient for children even just to imagine the variety of games that can be played in these watermelon swimming pools using the soft, red watermelon flesh, round, black watermelon seeds, and firm, smooth watermelon rinds.
The volume portrays the blazing sun, firm watermelon flesh, red and refreshing watermelon juice, children’s laughter, cool showers, scarlet evening glow, and nighttime fireflies, thus prompting readers vividly to feel the atmosphere of summer as they turn the pages. As such, this picture book can be enjoyed by young and old alike each summer.
A special space enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, gender, and disability
Especially impressive in this book is the harmonious way in which all villagers mingle regardless of age, gender, and disability. Indeed, the first visitor to the watermelon swimming pools is a hoary old man. Though he inadvertently moans, “Alley-oop!” as he bends to sit down, his excitement at seeing the newly opened watermelon swimming pools is no different from that of a child. Though wrinkled, the face of a grandmother riding a slide made of a watermelon rind is full of life. As such, the watermelon swimming pools are spaces where not only youngsters but also middle-aged men and women, elderly men and women, families, friends, and neighbors mix together. Here, even children on wheelchairs have no problem whatsoever in playing with their friends. The back view of the characters who, after playing together regardless of differences, gaze at the sunset shoulder to shoulder will convey to readers warm-heartedness that values one’s neighbors.
Heartwarming family love reflected in a watermelon
The scene where children return to their respective homes one by one in response to calls of their names after playing until sunset will give young readers the sense of satisfaction that comes from having played to their hearts’ content and prompt adult readers nostalgically to recall childhoods. When maple leaves fall on them and the festival has ended, the empty swimming pools will close, promising enjoyment next year.
In the last scene, this book shows an image of an entire watermelon that has been eaten and spoons, all on a small portable dining table, thus implying that the story of “watermelon swimming pools” was in fact a fantasy created while sharing the fruit with one’s family. Looking at this, readers will be able to picture a father returning home with a watermelon for his family. This family may be anticipating water games during the forthcoming summer vacation or may be unable properly to take a summer holiday due to the demands of a busy everyday life. At any rate, the image of a family seated around a table and spending the summer while eating watermelon will warm readers’ hearts.