AT THIS VERY MINUTE by Kathleen Rice Bowers


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. . . who knows what-all is happening. This starts, in time-honored here-and-now fashion, with a little girl getting into bed--while outside the window: ""Somewhere in this town, at this very minute, somebody is sneezing."" (Parenthethically: ""God bless you, somebody."") But from the commonplace happenings in ""this town,"" we soon shift to ""a bag lady on a park bench"" (and other gritty, real-life vignettes) somewhere ""in this big country of ours."" The more vague, abstract, and remote the setting, indeed, the more singular, circumscribed, and circumstantial the doings. The apogee is a double-page on which we see what adults will recognize as an Asian refugee family. ""They have left their home in a faraway land. Tonight they are tired, and crying for the places and people they love, that they will never see again, wondering whom to trust. They cannot speak our language. Suddenly they smile together. Auntie has come to meet them!"" (And it goes on, with auntie bringing presents.) This is all tending toward a rich/poor, sun/snow One World concept-from which it abruptly pulls back, at the last, to the little girl in bed. The pictures are conventionally pleasant (like a blander Marc Simont); the idea just runs away with itself.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1983
Publisher: Little, Brown