Watermelon Day

Watermelon Day

by Kathi Appelt, Dale Gottlieb, Lulu Bailey
     
 

There's a watermelon growing in the corner of the patch where the fence posts meet, and Jesse is waiting for it. Waiting for it to fill up with the cool summer rain and the hot summer sun. Waiting until at last it is ripe and ready for eating. Waiting until it is ready for her family's annual Watermelon day.

Overview

There's a watermelon growing in the corner of the patch where the fence posts meet, and Jesse is waiting for it. Waiting for it to fill up with the cool summer rain and the hot summer sun. Waiting until at last it is ripe and ready for eating. Waiting until it is ready for her family's annual Watermelon day.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a love song to a simple pleasure and to a little girl who enjoys it as only a child can, dancing her watermelon dance and spitting seeds into the setting sun." —School Library Journal

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3In this tale that celebrates both summertime and the magic of anticipation, young Jesse finds a watermelon in the corner of the garden. Her pappy agrees that it will be a big one, worthy of "a watermelon day." The mention of this annual family event fills Jesse with warm memories. As the season drags on and the heat intensifies, the girl begins to feel that "...she and her watermelon might both burst from the sheer waiting of it all." When her father finally declares that it looks like a watermelon day, readers may think the waiting is over. Not so. With a whole summer of heat inside it, the melon is set to cool off in the lake. Jesse waits patiently as hours of softball, banjo playing, and eating stretch by. Finally, Pappy's big fist splits the melon in half and Jesse experiences the moment that has been making her mouth water since spring. Gottlieb's primitive art shimmers with the intense colors of summer. Oil pastels and simple designs enhance the sense of childlike wonder. This book is a love song to a simple pleasure and to a little girl who enjoys it as only a child can, dancing her watermelon dance and spitting seeds into the setting sun.Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
Kirkus Reviews
Patience, patience. That's what little Jesse must practice as she waits for her watermelon to ripen—a summertime lesson in delayed gratification. Jesse attends to the melon's needs, listens to it, pampers it. When the relatives come, Jesse must wait still longer as the melon surrenders its summer heat to a lake's cooling waters. Appelt (Bayou Lullaby, 1995, etc.) has a way with similes: In the heat, "air wrinkled up like an unironed shirt" and a long day "stretched like a lazy ol' cat." There is a pleasurable tension running through the book: Patience is a hard-won virtue. Yet Jesse is admirably resolute, even when her yearning is nearly palpable. Gottlieb's childlike, fiercely two-dimensional illustrations do the story justice, in oil pastels that richly convey the torpor of a summer day and the sticky juices of the melon when it's finally cracked open.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805023046
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.32(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
280L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Kathi Appelt is the author of many books for young readers. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she teaches writing to both children and adults. She lives in College Station, Texas, with her husband and their two sons.

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