Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Heat Wave

Heat Wave

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator:   Betsy Lewin 
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 7
Harcourt Children's Books, 2007   ISBN: 978-0152167790

Lumberville is in the grip of a heat wave. There are no air conditioners, so everyone in town swelters in the heat. On Monday, the move theatre closes and Abigail and Ralphie Blue set up a lemonade stand. Tuesday is even hotter, and some of the residents in the town resort to taking long cool baths and showers. By the time Thursday rolls around it is so hot that Mr.Blue shaves off his beard, and the Pettibone sisters put their perfume and makeup in their icebox. How much hotter can it get?

In this delightful picture book, Eileen Spinelli perfectly captures what it was like to live in a time when there were no air conditioners, when people had to find all kinds of creative ways to stay cool. She shows her readers how the heat unifies the people in Lumberville; it brings them together as they all try to find some relief from the heat.

Throughout the book, Betsy Lewin's illustrations beautifully compliment the narrative. In particular, she brings the humorous touches in the story to life.