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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THE NIGHT OF LAS POSADAS

A wondrous occurrence, an ancient tradition, and an elderly nun’s abiding faith are the basis of this moving Chirstmas tale from dePaola (26 Fairmount Avenue, p. 629, etc.). Sister Angie is overjoyed when her niece Lupe and her husband are selected to play Mary and Joseph—here, Maria and José—for Las Posadas, the reenactment of the journey into Bethlehem. When Sister Angie becomes ill and Lupe and Roberto become stranded in a heavy snowstorm, it seems as if the celebration will be delayed. However, a couple arrives just in time to take the place of the missing players. The whole village participates in the procession, from the singers who follow Mary and Joseph, to the “devils” who attempt to prevent the weary travelers from finding lodging. After several rebuffs, the couple arrives at the gates of the courtyard; these open and the entire assembly enters to celebrate. When Lupe and Roberto finally show up, the other couple is nowhere to be found. The story takes a supernatural twist when Sister Angie discovers that the figures in the church’s manger scene have come to life, temporarily, for the procession. The mysteries and miracles of the season are kept at bay; this simple narrative spells everything out, resulting in a primer on the tradition. Richly hued, luminescent illustrations radiate from the pages; an introduction and author’s note provide additional information. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23400-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 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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