Books by Irene Smalls-Hector

JONATHAN AND HIS MOMMY by Irene Smalls-Hector
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

A playful story about a small African-American and his mother taking a long walk through their city neighborhood and making a game of using different steps—giant steps, baby steps, bunny hops, ballet twirls, backward steps. A rhythmic, repetitive text with some rhymes and sun-washed illustrations—a happy summer book. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
IRENE AND THE BIG, FINE NICKEL by Irene Smalls-Hector
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1991

``Harlem [in the 50's] was a place where nobody locked the door, and you never questioned being black because there were a million people who looked just like you.'' Smalls-Hector's story, presumably based on reminiscence, follows Irene through one happy, event-filled Saturday: washing her face in the kitchen bathtub; going past the ``toilet room'' to a neighbor's apartment, where her twin best friends are among the 13 children and there's always delicious food to share; squabbling and then making up with another girl—''Charlene's people came from...down south, and they were church people''—(the traded insults are wonderfully mild); fearlessly playing in the park; finding a nickel and spending it on a bun big enough to share four ways. Like Howard's Chita's Christmas Tree (1989), this book lovingly recreates the secure childhood of an African-American child in the not-too-distant past. New illustrator Geter makes an outstanding debut, combining a warm palette, impressionistic use of light, a pleasing sense of design, and an affectionately realistic portrayal of the girls. The lengthy text is appropriate as a readaloud or for young readers. (Fiction/Picture book. 6-10) Read full book review >