Cisneros (Woman Hollering Creek, 1991, etc.) reprises a lyrical vignette from The House on Mango Street (not reviewed). The narrator contrasts the hair of a family's six members ("My papa's hair is like a broom, all up in the air. And me, my hair is lazy. It never obeys barrettes or bands"), concluding with a longer description of her mother's hair. The final image is of the narrator, as a girl, warm and safe in Mama's bed, where the sweet aroma of Mama's hair reminds her of the smell of rising bread. A brief yet intimate family portrait. Ybanez debuts in children's books with sophisticated, freely rendered portrayals of the family members in brilliant colors, with some of the faces in tones such as violet or jade that nonetheless seem to suggest natural shades. Delicate background swirls reiterate Mama's embracing ringlets; childlike sketches in the bright, flat borders (which also incorporate the bilingual text) hint at characters' interests. Lightweight but pleasant.
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