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Cool Time Song
     

Cool Time Song

by Carole Lexa Schaefer, Pierr Morgan (Illustrator)
 

On the sunbaked earth of the savannah, kudus and zebras, giraffes and lions move slowly through the hot African day, looking for shade, leaves to nibble, a resting place. Everything is quiet. But when the sun sets, a cool time settles on the savannah and the song begins. Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh, drum the zebras with their hooves. Vroo-oot. Vroo-oot.

Overview

On the sunbaked earth of the savannah, kudus and zebras, giraffes and lions move slowly through the hot African day, looking for shade, leaves to nibble, a resting place. Everything is quiet. But when the sun sets, a cool time settles on the savannah and the song begins. Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh, drum the zebras with their hooves. Vroo-oot. Vroo-oot. Vroo-eet! trumpet the elephants. And the lions roar Grr-mrow-ool! Like heat, their cool time song rises and spreads, sifting down to people's ears in words. With beauty, respect, and a dose of imagination, Cool Time Song shares an anthem that everyone should hear-love and protect our earth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The team behind The Squiggle transports readers to a magic moment in the savanna, when all the animals momentarily come together to celebrate "cool time." During the day, "Sun burns so very strong/ that lion, royal lion,/ sits weak as a cub/ in the rising heat," writes Schaeffer. "And hyena, laughing hyena,/ lies still as a stick/ in the stubbly grass." Morgan drenches these daylight spreads in shades of blazing yellows and oranges; the roughly outlined, subtly mottled animal renderings bring alive the sense of heat hitting thick, hairy hides. Then "Earth turns," and before the animals head off for their nightly hunts, they join in a song at the watering hole to celebrate the dusk. "Giraffes rattle dry leaves-/ Shah-ticka. Shah-ticka. Shah./ Elephants trumpet long blasts-/ Vroo-oot. Vroo-oot, Vroo-eet." Morgan translates the music into playfully undulating lines, and conveys the animals' joy by adding splashes of electric colors (e.g., the zebras' stripes pulsate with blue, pink and green). The unbridled raucousness leaps off the page, but the feeling fizzles within a few pages, as the penultimate spread cautions readers that the animals' song is really one of peace and respect for the environment that humans must heed (" `Care for the water.'/ `Tend the land' "). After pages of strong, rhythmic prose and graceful pictures, it feels rather like gilding the lily. Ages 3-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a wonderfully-illustrated book! Few words are needed as the colorful illustrations clearly tell the story. It is midday on the savannah where the sun, with its commanding heat, "rules the day." The kudus and the zebras do their best to hide in the sparse shade of the acacia trees. The giraffes search the treetops for leaves that have not been scorched by the sun. The elephants cover themselves with dirt in an effort to protect their skin from the sun's destructive rays. The hyena, and even the mighty lion, lay still— conserving energy in the growing heat. As the sun begins to set, the animals begin to move around. They gather near water—a cool, calm, and peaceful time. Together they create a song, each making their own distinctive noise. Their song rises and spreads out across the world in a swirl of colors. When their song reaches human ears, it is a sound that people can understand. The "peaceful cool time song" is about taking care of the earth and getting along with each other. This story, with its universal appeal, should be read by children of all ages, all around the world. 2005, Viking/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 3 to 7.
—Lisa B. C. O'Connell
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-As the sun comes up on the African savanna, the animals seek shelter from the rising swelter. The Earth rotates, the sun goes down, and the creatures' movements create what Schaefer calls a "cool time song." "Kudus and zebras drum with their hooves-Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh. Puh-tah"; "And hyenas howl-Haroo-hee-hee. Haroo-hee-hee-hee." This song rises from the cooled planet and sifts back down as a message for the people of the world: "`Care for the water.' `Tend the land.' `Laugh together.'" The text is particularly strong in the first three quarters of the book, with vivid descriptions of how some of the animals cope with the heat ("elephants must crust themselves with layer upon layer of dust to protect their tough, thick skins"). The final message, however, seems jarring, interrupting the smooth charm and rhythm of the earlier text with a point that would have been better shown than told. Morgan's rich illustrations are full of texture, color, movement, and, most of all, atmosphere. They radiate the growing heat of the day, and are awash in layers of evening cool. This is a terrific book for art teachers to use to introduce lessons in color and line. Purples change from hot to cool depending on adjacent colors. Pair this title with Graeme Base's The Water Hole (Abrams, 2001) for a mini-lesson on protecting Africa's natural resources, or use it to generate discussions of day and night.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Twilight brings a chorus with a not-so-hidden message to the African savannah in this brief, lyrical appeal. When the hot, hot sun goes down, the lethargic kudus, elephants and other grassland residents revive: "Kudus and zebras drum with their hooves-Puh-tuh. Puh-tuh. Puh-tah. Giraffes rattle dry leaves-Shah-ticka. Shah-ticka. Shah," and so on, all of which "spreads out and sifts down to our ears in words: 'Care for the water.' 'Tend the land.' 'Laugh together.' " Morgan's sunburnt landscapes give way to scenes of relieved-looking creatures trumpeting or howling together, then pan back and back, from a cluster of huts to a dove carrying ribbons of song to encircle the entire Earth. Children familiar with Verna Aardema's African tales will chime in on the sound effects as readily as they'll buy into the wise theme. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670059287
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Carole Lexa Schaeffer and Pierr Morgan have collaborated on many books together, including Someone Says, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

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