AUNT CEECEE, AUNT BELLE, AND MAMA'S SURPRISE by Mary Quattlebaum

AUNT CEECEE, AUNT BELLE, AND MAMA'S SURPRISE

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The commotion over preparations for Mama’s surprise birthday party form the basis for Quattlebaum’s latest, told from the point of view one of the daughters in the household. “To buy” and “to do” lists are quickly compiled with the help of two well-meaning aunts, slapdash Aunt CeeCee and nitpicking Aunt Belle, with nary a thought given to what could go wrong. In no time, little sister Flo is boo-hooing and younger brother Squeal nearly gives away the surprise. The father forgets the password, the cats tear into the presents, and the cake is still “bald as a stone” as the clock tick-ticks toward party time. Only a “take-charge kind of girl” can save the day, and the young narrator does precisely that. Mama’s surprise is no surprise to readers, but despite the anticipated event, it’s the prelude that counts. Snazzy Jazz-Age-inspired drawings are as full of fuss and frenzy as the party preliminaries themselves. Chesworth uses comic-book style panels to divulge action and dialogue balloons to deliver sharp humor. A whispered conversation not meant to be heard by Mama is cleverly rendered in silhouette. This is ideal for those who prefer the fixings over the fanfare of the festivities themselves. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 11th, 1999
ISBN: 0-385-32275-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999