CELEBRATION! by Jane Resh Thomas

CELEBRATION!

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 One African-American family's Fourth of July picnic takes a food-laden, loving approach that feels more manufactured than genuine. Maggie heralds the arrival of her relatives, all bearing food and games for the celebration. The book is dominated by descriptions of the dazzling array of foods, imposing an adult's-eye view on the gathering; adults sitting around and kids splashing in the pool are the extent of story. The characterizations are limited: One aunt, in her nurse's uniform and followed by her six children, is a ``broody old hen''; a couple (who have both finished law school) are defined by their insistence on bottled water, while their moody son is on a ``short leash'' for pilfering ``some candy at the drugstore''-- the only character with definition, albeit a caricatured one. Col¢n's cross-hatchings create a pleasing portrait of a middle-class family's backyard party, but he neglects children's fondness for details that match the text: Granny drives her car, but gets out on the passenger side; a ``bowl'' of raw vegetables appears as a pot with a lid; a ``bachelor brother'' arrives with sparklers, but is shown holding VHS tapes; Pop is seen cooking hot dogs six pages before Mom says, ``Let's put the hot dogs on the fire and give [her brother] some food before he drinks any beer.'' Lacking the humorous tumult of Cynthia Rylant and Stephen Gammell's The Relatives Came (1985), the effect is fairly wholesome, but without benefit of strong emotion or a storyteller's voice, there are no fireworks. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7868-0189-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1997




MORE BY JANE RESH THOMAS

ChildrenBLIND MOUNTAIN by Jane Resh Thomas
by Jane Resh Thomas
ChildrenTHE COUNTERFEIT PRINCESS by Jane Resh Thomas
by Jane Resh Thomas
ChildrenDADDY DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A GIANT ANYMORE by Jane Resh Thomas
by Jane Resh Thomas

MORE BY RAÚL COLÓN

ChildrenIMAGINE! by Raúl Colón
by Raúl Colón
ChildrenBOOKJOY, WORDJOY by Pat Mora
by Pat Mora
ChildrenMIGUEL Y SU VALIENTE CABALLERO by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle