From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–This charming story will be a perfect antidote to the summer's swelter. It is so hot that Angel's mom and Aunt Lucy decide to reenact a childhood experience and take a mattress up on the roof. As Angel lies beneath the dark and purple sky, she tries to conjure up the thought of melting ice cubes to count, hoping that if she gets up to 1000, they would magically cool her. As she falls asleep, even the buildings surrounding her seem to dance, bending in bright, parfait colors in the inky sky. When she awakens, the sky carries a breeze and the promise of coolness as the first drops of rain start to fall, and the three rush to carry the mattress to safety. Afterward, the sisters returned to their chairs to revel in the raindrops, their nightgowns puffed up around them like tents. Angel dances in her underwear, singing her own version of Amazing Grace. The three African-American characters are portrayed with swirling, soft circles with jazzy, stylized facial features and elongated limbs. Pair this with Karen Hesse's Come on, Rain!
(Scholastic, 1999) or Elinor Lander Horwitz's When the Sky Is Like Lace
(HarperCollins, 1987) for a trio of summer delights.–Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
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PreS-Gr. 2. It's hot--so hot that chocolate bars melt before they can be eaten. Angel, an African American girl, can't sleep because of the heat. Her mother and visiting Aunt Lucy tell Angel to think cool thoughts, but it's not until the sisters remember that they went up to the roof during the hot nights of their childhood that a solution is born. Dragging a mattress up to the roof, Angel, her aunt, and her mother spend a starry night under the stars as Angel dreams of birds and buildings. In the morning, sprinkles of rain awaken the sleepers, forcing them to rush downstairs with the mattress and the linens, only to come back up to revel in the splashing rain. Both the realistic premise and the dreamy fantasy are propelled by Bronson's unique, motion-filled artwork. Using geometric and elongated shapes to good effect, her pictures have a distinctive look, with scenes often rounded as if one is looking through a lens. Hot pinks and yellows cool to softer shades once the night falls and rain hits. A jubilant celebration. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved