A good choice for reading aloud together.

YOUNG CORNROWS CALLIN OUT THE MOON

Children on the summer streets of South Philadelphia make their own fun and don’t miss what they don’t have. There may not be frontyards and backyards, but they have brownstone steps, the corner store, the ice-cream man and all the street games they can play. They also have mamma, gramma, some good home cooking and lots of friends with attitude. Forman takes a poem from an earlier collection and gives it a life of its own. The text floats across the pages, appearing at the top, middle or side, sometimes curvy, sometimes straight. Bayoc’s colorful, cartoon-like illustrations are filled with fun and action and match the text perfectly. The poem is written in street slang with words spelled accordingly. Although young readers might have some difficulty with the dialect and cadence, this poem exudes so much joy that they’ll want to read it again and again.

A good choice for reading aloud together. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-89239-218-5

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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ALL THE COLORS OF THE EARTH

This heavily earnest celebration of multi-ethnicity combines full-bleed paintings of smiling children, viewed through a golden haze dancing, playing, planting seedlings, and the like, with a hyperbolic, disconnected text—``Dark as leopard spots, light as sand,/Children buzz with laughter that kisses our land...''— printed in wavy lines. Literal-minded readers may have trouble with the author's premise, that ``Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea'' (green? blue?), and most of the children here, though of diverse and mixed racial ancestry, wear shorts and T-shirts and seem to be about the same age. Hamanaka has chosen a worthy theme, but she develops it without the humor or imagination that animates her Screen of Frogs (1993). (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-11131-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1994

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HONEY, I LOVE

Iffy art cramps this 25th-anniversary reissue of the joyful title poem from Greenfield’s first collection (1978), illustrated by the Dillons. As timeless as ever, the poem celebrates everything a child loves, from kissing Mama’s warm, soft arm to listening to a cousin from the South, “ ’cause every word he says / just kind of slides out of his mouth.” “I love a lot of things / a whole lot of things,” the narrator concludes, “And honey, / I love ME, too.” The African-American child in the pictures sports an updated hairstyle and a big, infectious grin—but even younger viewers will notice that the spray of cool water that supposedly “stings my stomach” isn’t aimed there, and that a comforter on the child’s bed changes patterns between pages. More problematic, though, is a dropped doll that suddenly acquires a horrified expression that makes it look disturbingly like a live baby, and the cutesy winged fairy that hovers over the sleeping child in the final scene. The poem deserves better. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-009123-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2002

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