THE FACE AT THE WINDOW by Regina Hanson
Kirkus Star

THE FACE AT THE WINDOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a generous story set in Jamaica, Hanson (The Tangerine Tree, 1995) makes some of the same points found in Roni Schotter's Captain Snap and the Children of Vinegar Lane (1989), about doing the right thing and getting beyond the fear of the unknown, especially when the unknown is a neighbor. Dora, Lureen, and Trevor are outside Miss Nella's house, trying to knock down the last mangoes of the season with stones. Dora's stone bangs Miss Nella's door; the elderly woman, thought to have dire powers, appears at the window. Lureen and Trevor warn Dora that now something terrible will happen. When pelting rains wrack Dora's house ceaselessly, Dora sees it as a sign: ""De rain never goin' to end. . . . And is all my fault."" Mammy and Pappy help Dora understand Miss Nella's illness and stand by her when she makes the decision to apologize. The surprise, for readers, is that the woman really is a little scary from a child's perspective, and that Dora is comfortable with her only after witnessing her own parents' tenderness toward Miss Nella. The narrative's lilt and the strict adherence to Dora's point of view give the tale much of its power. Saport's dense, hazy pastel illustrations are by turns foreboding and washed with relief, vibrantly evoking both setting and mood.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1997
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion