THE PEOPLE IN THE PLAYGROUND

Down in the schoolyard, as Opie (The Classic Fairy Tales, 1974, etc.) presents her impressions of exuberant playground life during the English equivalent of recess. At first, the junior-school scene in the town of Liss that Opie observes once a week for a period of years seems ``uncontrolled confusion,'' but gradually the author recognizes particular children, notes subtle patterns of play, and witnesses the ongoing exchange of ideas. Weather, she reports, matters less than playground geography or street activities (workmen of any kind always warrant attention), and gender signifies as well: Boys are more reckless, willing to fight or cry, while girls more often jump rope cooperatively or use conversation as a social activity. Fads come and go, structured games are few and far between, and disputation is ``the very spice of juvenile life.'' Jokes, especially dirty ones, are a frequent source of shared enjoyment, even when not fully understood, and are generally told with little self-consciousness or regard for others' sensitivities (in this group, Irish jokes resemble moron or Polish jokes). Opie's anecdotal re-creation will remind readers of their own past- -solitary children who hug the wall or pull up their socks; participants in fragile fantasies or spur-of-the-moment games; girls whispering intimacies; those who don't know what to do next but don't care; the sudden return to straight lines and formal deportment. Unlike the 1992 reissue of Opie's I Saw Esau, written with her late husband, Peter, this has no colorful Maurice Sendak illustrations interpreting the scene—but the text is nonetheless appealing for its heartening picture of children at play. (Two b&w plates)

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-19-811265-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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