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Heat Wave

by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

Published by Harcourt, 2007
32 pages
ISBN: 015216779X

Ages 4-8

An unrelenting sun can be seen and almost felt on the pages of this picture book that captures a week-long heat wave. The citizens of Lumberville, a fictional small town of the pre-air conditioner past, begin to wilt and droop after the oppressive weather sets in. As the week progresses, small and memorable details of how the temperature affects everyday behavior are cataloged: On Wednesday “Lottie Mims wore her bathing suit to clean house. . . . Abigail and Ralphie forgot about the lemonade and just sold ice. . . Thursday was hotter still. Lottie Mims took a nap with cold tea bags on her eyes. The Pettibone sisters put their perfume and makeup in the icebox.” By the week’s end, the entire town has given up on their hot bedrooms. One citizen opts for an apartment rooftop, another seeks relief on a fire escape. But the riverbank is the biggest lure, and a gathering of townspeople converges there at dusk with blankets and pillows. During the night, they all have the same dream . . . of rain. Readers will enjoy getting the know the varied population of Lumberville, young and old alike, and their many means of dealing with the heat. There’s nothing like shared misery to promote a sense of unity! (MVL) ©2007 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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