Stella Mae loves to sit at her apartment-house window and watch her neighbors.
They are all colorful characters that are easily identifiable. One sings karaoke badly, and one, named Miss Arpeggio, plays the piano. One has two cats named Pianissimo and Fortissimo and is named Mr. Rubenstein (for the piano virtuoso Arthur?). There’s a couple who dress fancily and a couple who wear Mexican hats. Not one of these folk has any community spirit until a great snowfall blankets the town square. With Stella Mae in the lead, they join together to build a snowman, all providing their individual touches. Have they sculpted a dancer or a jazz musician or an Indian elephant-headed god or Babar? It is Stella Mae who devises the most inclusive name, “Ferdinand Ganesh, the Jazzy Dancing Baba Feng Shui Elephant-Mouse!” Community togetherness! They eat latkes and tacos, drink cider and dance to tango music from a trombone. Sullivan is a musician and undoubtedly intended her use of musical terminology along with multicultural touches to be a learning experience. Unfortunately, there is no lesson to be learned without textual support or visual clues. The watercolor art is so loose it becomes lost on the mostly white backgrounds. (glossary)
Pleasant but inconsequential. (Picture book. 4-7)