SUNDAY WEEK

Johnson (All Around Town, 1998) sketches out the activities for the six days leading up to Sunday. Monday is reserved for the blues, Tuesday for double Dutch workouts, Wednesday for choir practice, Thursday for reading with Miss Augusta (“books filled with magic words. We can taste them and hear them and fashion them—speak words written and said long ago to make today and tomorrow our own”), Friday—“Finally Friday,”—with its fish and hush puppies, and workday Saturday. Then comes Sunday at the Lovely Hill Baptist Church, and displays of fashion, toe-tapping music, gathering, and feasting. The spirituality in these pages is caring and inclusive, so no one is a stranger here; Geter’s pastels are studied and a little self-conscious, but as warm as the biscuits served at Sunday dinner. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8050-4911-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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THREE WISE WOMEN

Three Wise Women (32 pp.; $16.99; Oct.; 0-8037-2466-7) This uninspired retelling of the gifts of the magi adds little to the original version. Three women from very different cultures share a journey to the birthplace of Jesus. Arriving at the manger, each woman offers a gift from her heart that represents something unique to her and that will become meaningful in the life of the child as he grows to manhood. Deep blues, glowing reds, and rich purples spill over the spreads, lending visual depth to an otherwise disappointingly shallow story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8037-2466-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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RAISEL'S RIDDLE

Silverman (The Halloween House, 1997, etc.) tells of Raisel, an orphan girl who is raised by her scholarly grandfather until his death; three wishes from an old beggar woman allow Raisel to attend the Purim play dressed as Queen Esther, where she captures the attention of the rabbi’s son. It is her clever riddle about the precious nature of learning, however, that eventually wins his heart. Carefully crafted, this story not only entertains, but it teaches readers about the Jewish holiday, Purim, Queen Esther, and the tradition of costumed re-enactment. Unlike a majority of the other versions of the Cinderella story, this one does not include a self-absorbed prince who combs the countryside looking for a bride of a particular shoe size; refreshingly, Silverman’s hero is as intelligent as he is handsome, and seeks a bride who is his equal. Graber’s illustrations are the perfectly complement, embodying Raisel’s transformation from a life of servitude to one of riches “more precious than rubies.” (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 2, 1999

ISBN: 0-374-36168-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1999

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