Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Ian Wallace & illustrated by Ian Wallace

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-88899-826-2
Publisher: Groundwood

On a night “hot enough to wake the dead,” Brando and his family seek relief on the sleeping porch. Sure enough, leaping through the screen from the cemetery below comes a ghost cat: “Hot dog, it’s a hot night,” it yawns, before taking Brando on a fanciful tour of the night sky, past the melting city, through Saturn’s rings and a pod of flying right whales to an iceberg on “a sea of shimmering ice.” Wallace modulates his tale from reality to fantasy and back again nicely, the events of Brando’s nighttime adventure unfurling with the nonsensical logic of a dream. Sensuous language puts readers directly into the moment: The bits of ice Brando and Graveyard Cat enjoy taste “like winter on their tongues.” The dialogue between the two tends toward stiffness, however, as do some of the cool, watercolor compositions; the gorgeous, silvery blue-and-green fantasy panoramas of whales and icebergs succeed brilliantly where some of the close-ups do not. In all, a quietly whimsical way to beat the heat. (Picture book. 5-8)