``Walking through any marketplace on this globe is a bit like opening a window and looking right into the heart of a country,'' says Jaffrey, who describes markets in Mexico, India, Egypt, Hong Kong, Italy, and Senegal. Her prose is fluid and often lyrical as she notes the Mexican marketplace dominated by the Spanish-style church ``smells of time and incense.'' She ponders the flower sellers of India: ``They sell flowers for weddings and funerals. Nothing is hidden here, neither life nor death.'' Markets sell more than food, too—camels or cures. The healer in the Senegal market sells ``dried monkeys' heads to cure disease...and monkeys' paws as ways to mend a broken heart.'' These concepts and the vocabulary may be a bit difficult for the intended audience. Stylized paintings in colors right out of a paintbox show broad forms and busy settings; they are visually appealing but cannot always convey useful information. Some of the people have facial features, others have none or just smiles. Hong Kong shoppers are uniformly the brilliant yellow of an electric light bulb, and those in India are a flat chocolate brown. The book, concluding with a simple recipe from each country, provides an interesting approach to cross-cultural understanding. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)
Pub Date: April 1, 1995
Page Count: 32
Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1995
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