Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary:  “City summer, steamy sidewalks/concrete crumbles, sirens screech.”  Walking through the city with his owner, this dachshund is truly a hot dog!  Finally, he goes on strike, lying down in the middle of a busy street.  His owner scoops him up, hails a taxi, and heads to the train.  Before he knows it, the dog is cooling off on “an island…wild and long and low.”  The two have a refreshing afternoon there before heading back to the city where dusk has brought a welcome coolness.  Time for dinner and then “ready to leap into a deep ocean sleep” where he dreams about the seal he met on the beach.  40 pages; ages 3-8.

Pros:  An idyllic summer book where the illustrations perfectly capture the sweltering heat of the summer and the cool relief of a trip to the beach.  The words and illustrations transition from short phrases and hot colors to longer descriptions and cooler colors.  Not to be ruled out for Caldecott recognition.

Cons:  These two take a day trip from what appears to be New York City on a sweltering summer day to an island that appears to be populated only by seals, so we must definitely classify the story as a fantasy.

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