Nancy Poydar, author and illustrator
Margaret K. McElderry Books, Fiction, 1996
Suitable for: Ages 4-7
Theme: Art, Summer heat, City life, Neighbors
Opening/Synopsis: Ali 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.