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GIFTS by Jo Ellen Bogart


by Jo Ellen Bogart & illustrated by Barbara Reid

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-590-55260-0
Publisher: Scholastic

 Lively plasticine bas-reliefs depict scenes of another traveling grandmother (see Blackstone review, above) and the gifts she brings to her granddaughter from around the world. Bogart offers rhyming questions and answers: ``My grandma went to Switzerland,/said: `What would you have me bring?' `Just a chunk of cheese/and a mountain, please,/and a bell that goes ding-a-ling-ling.' '' As the grandmother proceeds through her journeys, she grows older while her granddaughter grows up; the exotic settings include India, Africa, Australia, Mexico, and the Arctic. Reid's now-familiar technique has grown steadily more inventive and these illustrations are astonishing. Whether in large, detailed landscapes or dramatic close-ups, the book contains a wealth of plastic effects, from the soft folds and textures of the grandmother's clothes to the sparkling bubbles of a foamy sea. The lyrical and lighthearted rhymes never convey the exuberance of the art but advance the story nicely by providing a sequence of cues for the pictures. (Picture book. 3-7)