Cool Ali

Cool Ali 51Q8TF9B7AL__SL500_AA300_Cool Ali

Nancy Poydar, author and illustrator

Margaret K. McElderry Books, Fiction, 1996

Suitable for:  Ages 4-7

Theme:  Art, Summer heat, City life,  Neighbors

Opening/SynopsisAli loved to draw.  She drew all the time.  One summer day, her mother said, “Ali, Ali, it’s just too hot to be indoors!”  That’s when Ali took her box of fat chalk outside.   It hadn’t rained in weeks and Ali beat the summer heat by drawing cool scenes on the sidewalk and buildings .   She drew grass and flowers, a lake under Mrs. Frye’s chair, a beach umbrella on the wall  to shade Ira, the North Wind for Mr. Boyle,  a Polar Bear and  a snow storm.  A crowd gathered and found pleasure in Ali’s drawings and forgot the heat until something happens.

Why I like this book:  Nancy Poydar has written a fun book that will ignite a child’s imagination.  There is also a sense of neighborhood and everyone (young and old) dealing with the heat wave together.  Her illustrations are expressive and colorful.  She uses watercolors and oil pastels.   This is a cool end-of-the summer read for kids.  Check out Nancy Poydar’s website for the many books she’s written and illustrated.  Each of her picture books tells of a child who gives gifts of storytelling through art.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

20 thoughts on “Cool Ali

    • Susanna thought it a fun book for the hot days to come at the end of summer. Loved the feel of community. And, of course the art was a lot of fun. The author has written many books, but this one caught my attention. And, someone recommended it.


  1. As a kid who spent his earliest years in the housing projects of New York, the image on the cover of this book reminds me of how much we had to use our imagination to change the environment from hot-Summer scorching of concrete and brick to cool breezes and green grass. Most of our play, back in that day, was about creating worlds of wonder right where we were, rather than escaping through TV (black and white, I might add). Thanks for sharing this sweet-looking book that reminds us how much we can change our current reality into magic if we let our imaginations, and some chalk, go wild.


    • Craig, I always enjoy your messages. We must have grown up in the same era. I lived in a neighborhood with fields behind my house and a nearby river and creek. And, we did use our imaginations and played all day — from morning until night. Something kids don’t have the luxury of doing today. And, yes the black and white TVs. Kids weren’t indulged and we only had our imaginations — and it was fun.


    • Joanna, I loved the creativity in this story. If you remember, you recommended it to me. I like the author and browsed through her other books. But, this seemed like a great summer story.


  2. I love this because it reminds me of my childhood and my vivid imagination. It does evoke sense of community. I learn so much from you and others like you who are on the “Hub”. Thanks.


  3. This is lovely Pat. I, like the child in this story love chalk art and used to do chalk art when a kid on a blackboard in a dolls house outside in my backyard. When traveling later with my husband I often found pavement chalk art through Europe fascinating. Such colour and imagination, I love this.


  4. What a delightful book, Pat! Thank you for sharing it with us. I must click that link and discover the author’s other books. There may be some just “perfect” for PPBFridays!


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