LITTLE CLIFF AND THE PORCH PEOPLE by Clifton L. Taulbert

LITTLE CLIFF AND THE PORCH PEOPLE

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A honeyed reminiscence of a real time and place sustains appreciation for its characters, and the gentle humor that informs their daily lives. Little Cliff lives with his great-grandparents, Poppa Joe and Mama Pearl, in a house in the segregated Mississippi Delta of the 1950s. He eagerly awaits Sundays, when Poppa takes him to Greenville, which seems to Cliff “the biggest city in the whole wide world.” Poppa teaches him manners, telling him to stop and talk to the adults who live along their road, but later, when Cliff is sent on his first errand and admonished not to stop along the way by Mama Pearl, he must manage as best he can. He gathers ingredients on the way to buying sweet butter for the candied potatoes Mama Pearl is making. The result is the cooking of a culinary masterpiece, sweet potatoes in just-churned butter with vanilla from New Orleans and nutmeg right off the tree. Each member of the community is authentic and vital, as is the child’s reaction to various dilemmas, including being kissed by an elderly cousin. Lewis’s paintings are homage to a simpler time and a close community; his luxurious watercolors portray houses, landscapes, and a town’s main street lined with beautiful period automobiles. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8037-2174-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999




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