Aspects of this story from Franklin (Lone Wolf, p. 380, etc.) are lovely, but they never coalesce. Reina is allowed to go to...

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IGUANA BEACH

Aspects of this story from Franklin (Lone Wolf, p. 380, etc.) are lovely, but they never coalesce. Reina is allowed to go to the beach for the first time with TÁo Benito and others, promising her mother before she leaves to stay out of the waves. As depicted by Lohstoeter, this is surf at its most dangerous, and Reina stays under the wing of TÁo Benito while the other kids head for the breakers. Reina chafes at the restriction, and other inhabitants of the beach bully her: a crab pinches her, an iguana challenges her right to be there, monkeys hoot and spit at her. Brazenly planning to break her promise, Reina runs off toward the waves and stumbles to the edge of a serene lagoon, a place she can swim without going against her mother's wishes. Some images hold, as when Benito warns her that ""these waves would tumble you like a coconut."" Reina's predicament, however, is more of an irritation than a longing, given an arbitrary setting, random events, and real drama--the child's rebellion--that is curtailed by a convenient plot. Lohstoeter's artwork, sometimes dexterous, as in her handling of figures, can also be as schematized as a paint-by-numbers product.

Pub Date: May 1, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1997