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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A marketing trip from Miranda (Glad Monster, Sad Monster, p. 1309) that jiggity jigs off in time-honored nursery-rhyme fashion, but almost immediately derails into well-charted chaos. The foodstuffs—the fat pig, the red hen, the plump goose, the pea pods, peppers, garlic, and spice—are wholly reasonable in light of the author's mention of shopping at traditional Spanish mercados, which stock live animals and vegetables. Stevens transfers the action to a standard American supermarket and a standard American kitchen, bringing hilarity to scenes that combine acrylics, oil pastels, and colored pencil with photo and fabric collage elements. The result is increasing frazzlement for the shopper, an older woman wearing spectacles, hat, and purple pumps (one of which is consumed by her groceries). It's back to market one last time for ingredients for the hot vegetable soup she prepares for the whole bunch. True, her kitchen's trashed and she probably won't find a welcome mat at her supermarket hereafter, but all's well that ends well—at least while the soup's on. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-15-200035-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

LAST DAY BLUES

From the Mrs. Hartwell's Classroom Adventures series

One more myth dispelled for all the students who believe that their teachers live in their classrooms. During the last week of school, Mrs. Hartwell and her students reflect on the things they will miss, while also looking forward to the fun that summer will bring. The kids want to cheer up their teacher, whom they imagine will be crying over lesson plans and missing them all summer long. But what gift will cheer her up? Numerous ideas are rejected, until Eddie comes up with the perfect plan. They all cooperate to create a rhyming ode to the school year and their teacher. Love’s renderings of the children are realistic, portraying the diversity of modern-day classrooms, from dress and expression to gender and skin color. She perfectly captures the emotional trauma the students imagine their teachers will go through as they leave for the summer. Her final illustration hysterically shatters that myth, and will have every teacher cheering aloud. What a perfect end to the school year. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58089-046-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more