PAPA'S STORIES by Dolores Johnson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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 Every evening, after Papa comes home from work and washes off ``a day's worth of soil,'' he ``reads'' Kari a book, perhaps the one he calls ``Little Miss Too-Big-for-Her-Red-Britches'' (while the illustration depicts Little Red Riding Hood). Kari loves the way the stories vary from night to night, but as she gets older she begins to wonder. Suspicion turns to certainty when a friend who has just learned to read points out that the book's printed words are different. Going first to her mother (``If a person can't read, does that make them dumb?''), Kari goes on to level with Papa (``Were you ever gonna tell me?''). Fortunately, the bond they've built carries them through, while each has an unexpected gift for the other: when Kari offers to teach Papa once she's learned to read, it turns out he's already been learning, with Mama; and, after Papa demonstrates his new skill by reading her old favorite the new way, Kari asks to hear it ``again, like you always did.'' A sensitive, creatively plotted story, enhanced by the author's watercolors of middle- class African Americans; a natural pairing with Bunting's The Wednesday Surprise (1989). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-747847-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1994


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