How do the animals around us survive on the hottest days of the year? Journey to a field where an earthworm loops its long body into a ball underground, to a desert where a jackrabbit loses heat through its oversized ears, to a wetland where a siren salamander burrows into the mud to stay cool, and to a seashore where sea stars hide in the shade of a seaweed mat. Luminous watercolors and lyrical language introduce young readers to the strategies our animal neighbors use to beat the heat.
“Writing simply but informatively, Stewart takes readers through four different environments—a field, a desert, a wetland and a seashore—showing how some of the inhabitants of each cope during the hottest days of the year. Forging a connection with readers, the book begins by showing children in a suburban environment playing in the sprinkler and sipping lemonade. With a page turn, Stewart introduces the next environment, a field, and how some of its inhabitants—a woodchuck, an earthworm, a spittlebug and a caterpillar—cope with the heat. By including the children in the suburb, Stewart positions humans as simply one species of the many that inhabit the Earth—a notable and appropriate perspective. Bergum’s pleasing, realistic watercolor illustrations include front endpapers that show the sunrise and rear endpapers that mirror them with dusk. The suggestion that the story takes place within the time frame of one day encloses it within comfortable confines familiar to all readers—another element that connects children to the subject. The framing of illustrations within the double-page spreads gives readers a sense of spatiality within the environment depicted. A well-designed, well-written book that offers readers [a]n engaging peek into how various creatures cope with the hottest of days.”
“On the hottest day of the year, three kids put on sunscreen, sip lemonade, and run through their backyard sprinkler to cool off. But what do animals do in hot weather? Stewart and Bergum, who previously collaborated on When Rain Falls (2008) and Under the Snow (2009), tell and show what happens on a sweltering day in a field, in a desert, in a wetland, and at the seashore. From earthworm to fiddler crab, from horned lizard to herring gull, each animal deals with high temperatures in its own way. Finally, the sun sets and evening comes, bringing cooler temperatures for all. The second half of the book is unusual in that it includes the cooling strategies of creatures living in shallow water as well as those of land animals, insects, and birds living nearby. The short text tells just enough about each animal to make its story interesting, while the handsome watercolor paintings illustrate each species and its habitat effectively. A quiet, informative read-aloud choice for the dog days of summer.”