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Hot City Hardcover – June 17, 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4–Two African-American siblings sit on the front stoop of their apartment building on a summer day wondering what to do for fun. After spying on their mother and the "blah blah ladies" and trying to cool off with swiftly melting snow cones, Mimi and Joe make their way through the sizzling streets to the sanctuary of the public library. They gratefully drop down into the "smooth and cool" chairs with their books, eager to escape from the heat into the imaginary worlds of princesses and dinosaurs. Eventually, the children reluctantly venture back outside, and as they head for home, Joe aptly sums up their afternoon by stating, "It's good we came. Isn't it." This eloquently told story is boldly illustrated with evocative acrylic paintings in shades of orange, red, and yellow. A few wordless spreads fluidly depict Mimi's imaginary adventure as a fairy-tale princess, as she rides a pink unicorn and foils a robbery. Pair Joosse's outstanding book with Pat Mora's Tomas and the Library Lady (Knopf, 1997), another tribute to the benefits of visiting the library and the joys of reading.–Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. The library is cool, and not just in temperature, when Mimi and her active little brother, Joe, seek refuge there from the "dragon hot" city streets. This time the team who created Stars in the Darkness (2002), about scary gang violence, tells an inner-city story that's affectionate and fun. First Mimi and Joe pour ice tea and pass cookies for Mama and the "blah blah ladies." Then the kids slip out, slow and easy, and find the "cooooool" library, where they open the books and travel through time and space. The simple words are physical and immediate, and the gorgeous double-page spreads in Christie's signature painted-collage style show the kids' fabulous fantasy adventures: Mimi is a princess on horseback; Joe rides dinosaurs; and for pages the world is theirs. The contrast between the red-hot city scenes and the excitement the kids find inside books makes a great library poster. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; 1st edition (June 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399236406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399236402
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #733,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Hot City is one of those picture books that jumps right off the coffee table and gets under your skin. The funny, jazzy, spontaneous, and easy-to-follow text is perfectly illuminated with the bright, lively, syncopated, and imaginative illustrations. The plot is simple enough: a sister and her younger brother finding things to do on a very hot summer day in the city. The dialog moves us through their activities: spying on the 'blah-blah' ladies (that must be universal - how kids feel about their mothers' company and their endless prattle); eating snow cones ("we lick fast, but not fast enough"); and escaping into a cool library. While plopped "down in a big old chair, smooth and cool, like a throne" sister (now Princess) escapes on the back of a unicorn and thwarts a pirate-robber before her brother - riding in on a T.Rex - calls her back to the reality of the library and they depart for home. It's a story that honors where books can take us and would be a great read-aloud to younger children during a library storytime hour.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a delightful book for all ages. The illustrations are fun and creative and the text is also memorable. My two-year old daughter and my 74-year old mother both enjoy it.
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