THE LONGEST FLOAT IN THE PARADE by Carol Carrick

THE LONGEST FLOAT IN THE PARADE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Camp Hi-Ya-Watha was having a parade. . . . Each group was making a float. And each float was to be about a month of the year."" But one group splits up early, over Darleen's idea for an ""April Showers Bring May Flowers"" float. (When the group votes, ""April Showers won because Darleen had the most friends."") ""The prettiest girl can be Miss April,"" says Darleen. ""She will wear a lovely dress and a crown. . . . The rest will carry umbrellas and sing sweetly."" And so it is done and Darleen's float, covered with paper flowers, is judged most beautiful. (""Darleen was Miss April, of course."") But Jimmy, who has ridiculed the idea in the first place and then proved inept at singing and making flowers, splits off, woos some others away, and comes up with the ""longest float in the whole parade, and everybody's favorite"": a Chinese New Year Dragon, with a head made from a paper box and a body consisting of a line of campers under sewn-together painted sheets. Carrick ends with good feeling as the other campers, including Darleen's group, join on under sheets of their own; and Donald Carrick--who gives the kids expressions and brings some appealing life to the unexceptional story--is careful to show both boys and girls in each group. Nevertheless, with the girl coming up with simpy visions of a ""lovely"" float queen and attendants singing ""sweetly,"" while the boy's livelier, less-conforming idea runs away with the crowd, this smacks of unconscious stereotypes.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1982
Publisher: Greenwillow (READ-ALONE)