Monday, June 16, 2008

Heat Wave

And this record-breaking heat wave continues here in North Eastern Virginia........... along with thick heavy smoke that we have been breathing for days from the 2,400 acre wildfire blazing in the Dismal Swamp.

Actually, it's not so bad because we have AC so I shouldn't complain! Heat Wave is a sweet little story by Eileen Spinelli (author of over 48 picture books) about the good ol' days when there was no AC.

On a sweltering day in Lumberville, the townspeople get creative in coping with the heat wave. "Lottie Mims wore her bathing suit to clean the house" and then "took a nap with cold tea bags on her eyes." Abigail and Ralphie Blue sell ice cubes, Butchy Bezwick and Charlie Pappas squirt each other with garden hoses and "the Pettibone sisters put their perfume and makeup in the icebox." I love all the great names that Eileen uses in this book. It makes the story pop and flow and the watercolor illustrations by Betsy Lewin(NY Times Best-Illustrated Duck for President and Caldecott-Winner Click Clack Moo) are simple and fun. A perfect pairing.

Everyone leaves their homes that night and carries pillows and quilts to the riverbank. The mayor passes out popsicles and political flyers and Officer Mcginnis plays harmonica under the starry skies. They all fall asleep dreaming the same dream.......rain!

Betsy paints big blue splotches of watercolor drops and silly illustrations of the Lumberville characters dancing in the rain on the last page.

Soon, I'll be doing a rain dance too(with tea bags on my eyes):)

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