cover image Hotter Than a Hot Dog!

Hotter Than a Hot Dog!

Stephanie Calmenson. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-12479-9

This endearing tale of a steamy day's romp at the beach radiates with the warmth of summertime. Here, the young narrator and her grandmother sit on the stoop of their apartment building, fanning themselves. When the girl says she's ``hotter than a turkey in the oven!'' and begins ``trotting around the sidewalk like a big, fat turkey,'' her grandmother admonishes, ``It's too hot to trot!'' The two board a stuffy train (``It swallowed us up like a fire-breathing dragon'') and head for the beach, where they remain until the sun sets and the now-shivering narrator admits she's ``colder than a turkey in the freezer.'' Calmenson's ( ZIP, WHIZ, ZOOM! ) bubbly narrative voice convincingly mimics a child's own storytelling. Elivia's ( Treasure Map ) splashy, thoroughly effective watercolors of the city favor humid shades of pink, turquoise and orange that spread to the pages' borders. At the beach, Elivia lifts the sultry hues to reveal wide-open, white negative space and refreshingly bright-blue water, while a lavender tint heralds the evening's cooler air. Anyone who's endured a sticky train- or car-trip to a sandy shore will feel transported by this picture book, which stimulates a longing for those hot and hazy days. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)