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HOT CITY by Barbara Joosse

HOT CITY

By Barbara Joosse (Author) , R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-399-23640-6
Publisher: Philomel

On a smoldering summer day, an African-American girl and her little brother sit on porch steps, “hot as a fry pan,” trying to figure out how to cool off. When the icy pleasure of snow cones proves all too temporary, the two head for the local library, where they know it will be cool all day long. Once inside, Mimi transports herself to faraway lands through the magic of reading; the next four double-page spreads wordlessly showcase Princess Mimi’s royal adventures in the enchanted forest, complete with fancy gown and the requisite ride on a pink unicorn. Joe, absorbed in his book of dinosaurs, is never far away, nor are the hot city streets that sneak back into the picture. Christie’s vivacious, artfully distorted, stylized paintings are drenched in vibrant pinks, reds, and orange acrylics that sizzle along with the rhythmic, smooth-as-melted-butter voices. More slice of life than plot-driven story, this unusual urban portrait celebrates libraries and the delicious escape that books—and air-conditioning—offer. A vivid, if somewhat meandering summer-in-the-city vignette. (Picture book. 5-8)