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

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more