LITTLE LIL AND THE SWING-SINGING SAX by Libba Moore Gray

LITTLE LIL AND THE SWING-SINGING SAX

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Little Lil lives with her mother, Mama Big Lil, and her ``fat- cheeked, curly-haired, horn-blowing Uncle Sudi Man.'' They are poor, but they love each other, and they laugh more than they cry. They also have Uncle Sudi Man's low-moaning sax, which blows pleasure into people's lives. When Mama Big Lil gives Little Lil a ring with a blue stone--a family heirloom--life can't get much better. Instead, it gets bad: Mama Big Lil is sick, and Uncle Sudi Man pawns his sax for the medicine money. Little Lil, however, knows that no amount of medicine will return the sparkle to Mama Big Lil's eyes the way that ``swing-singing'' sax could, so she trades her ring at the pawn shop and brings music back into their lives. Gray (My Mama Had a Dancing Heart, 1995, etc.) sparks warmth that fairly radiates off the page, testifying to the healing powers of music and to the hidden power of love and generosity. She charges the narrative with a hip-hop beat: ``So on a snow-swirling day with neon lights far below us blink blink blinking like an upside-down, cold electric sky, Mama Big Lil and I danced on that flat, black rooftop.'' Newcomer Cohen's illustrations are bright, bold concoctions, as flat and stylized as poster art, full of visual energy as they snap and sizzle along with the story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80681-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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