HEAT WAVE

“Sun sizzled. Hair frizzled.” As the Lumberville heat wave descends, day by day its population does its best to adapt, in this sweet evocation of the time before air conditioning. The movie theater closes, Lottie Mims vacuums in her bathing suit, “[the] Pettibone sisters put their perfume and makeup in the icebox.” On the hottest night yet, the community heads to the riverbank with pillows and blankets to seek some relief. Spinelli’s simple, declarative text touches on each character in turn, describing how they cope—children, adults and animals, one by one. Lewin’s signature illustrations form a series of vignettes against white space, extracting gentle humor from each situation. Dusty yellows and browns dominate her washed-out palette, punctuated by the occasional soothing blue of relative cool. Each quickly drawn figure demonstrates mastery of body language, limp limbs and frazzled hair expressing all. The healing rain comes in a town-wide dream, as joyous splashes of blue ink bathe the citizens of Lumberville in a welcome moisture readers will feel as fully as the characters. As lovely an evocation of one community as one could hope to see. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-216779-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2007

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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A TREE IS NICE

A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the tree...play pirate ship...pick the apples...build playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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