Appelt, Kathi. 1996.WATERMELON DAY. Illustrated by Dale Gottlieb. Henry Holt. New York. ISBN: 0-8050-2304-6
Watermelon day, written by Kathi Appelt, sings of summer through the eyes of an innocent child. The book has a certain rhythm to it that can be heard, especially when Jesse sings watermelon, watermelon. This is the story of a young girl who finds a watermelon smaller then her fist at the start of the summer and nurtures it through the heat, waiting patiently for it to ripen. Children and adults alike will identify with the line which is repeated throughout the book, "How much longer, Pappy?", so often asked by little ones.
The book builds up to the day when the watermelon can be cut free from its vine and enjoyed by her friends and relatives with a get together called watermelon day. The tension rises when again, she has to wait! The watermelon has to float in the lake for the rest of the day to get cool. The illustrator creates the perfect illustration of Jesse laying on her back with straw in her mouth, waiting, waiting and waiting again. The reader feels the exuberance when the watermelon is cracked open and shared and enjoyed.
The illustrations, done by artist Dale Gottlieb, are done in brilliant hues of greens, pinks, blues and yellows. The figures in the book are disproportionate, modeling a well-done expressionistic style, perfect for this story line. The pictures are so appealing and colorful that your eyes cant help but linger on the page, absorbing the color and cheer of it all. I love this happy book. Some things in life truly are worth waiting for.