WHEN CATHERINE THE GREAT AND I WERE EIGHT! by Cari Best

WHEN CATHERINE THE GREAT AND I WERE EIGHT!

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A slice of urban life is cheerfully portrayed in this colorfully illustrated, first-person account of an ill-fated day trip to the beach. The second book inspired by Best’s own grandmother again reveals “Catherine’s” irrepressible spirit: the rest of the family is discouraged by the heat, the traffic, and a breakdown, but Grandma says “Nyet!” to the suggestion they turn around and go home. Readers can practically feel the relief as the family arrives at the beach near six in the evening, and Sara and Grandma finally get to cool off in the Atlantic. Potter’s soft, bright paintings feature stylized figures reminiscent of folk art that reinforce the nostalgic feel of the text, although the characters’ facial expressions, particularly the sideways smile found often in Potter’s illustrations, seem a bit awkward. The theme of intergenerational love is strong here, as Grandma teaches Sara to float on her back “like a flower” in the aqua ocean. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-39954-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2003




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