GERGIE LEE

Most main characters speak but in this delightfully charming story about J.D.’s summer on his Grandmother’s farm, the title player moos—Georgie Lee is a cow, and a right smart one at that. The opening chapter establishes the ambience when J.D. and Grandmother can’t understand why, on such a hot day, Georgie Lee is standing absolutely still in the cool creek. As they watch, little fish school under the cow’s spotted belly and, one by one, jump up and catch the flies crawling on her. When all the flies are gone, the full fish swim back to their hiding place, Georgie Lee has a long, cool drink and smiles as she heads back to her grass hill. The cleverly subtle writing meshes details and dialogue with homespun flair as in the incident when Grandmother climbs a tree to join J.D. and can’t get down. J.D. asks, “Did you ever see a cow up a tree?” Grandmother answers, “Not yet.” And sure enough, at the end of the story, there’s Georgie Lee, amidst tree branches. The delicate black-and-white drawings softly accentuate the episodes of symbiotic relationships between animals and people. “Why do tumblebugs make balls out of cow manure?” J.D. asked. In her unflappable wisdom, Grandmother answers, “Ever try rolling something that’s not round?” Country and city kids alike will grin over the trio’s encounters with a haunted house, a neighborhood goat, a giant catfish, and a huge storm in this deceptively simple first chapter book. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-688-17940-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape.

RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC!

From the Rafi and Rosi series

The fourth installment in Delacre’s early-reader series centers on the rich musical traditions of Puerto Rico, once again featuring sibling tree frogs Rafi and Rosi Coquí.

Readers learn along with Rafi and Rosi as they explore bomba, plena, and salsa in three chapters. A glossary at the beginning sets readers up well to understand the Spanish vocabulary, including accurate phoneticization for non-Spanish speakers. The stories focus on Rafi and Rosi’s relationship within a musical context. For example, in one chapter Rafi finds out that he attracts a larger audience playing his homemade güiro with Rosi’s help even though he initially excluded her: “Big brothers only.” Even when he makes mistakes, as the older brother, Rafi consoles Rosi when she is embarrassed or angry at him. In each instance, their shared joy for music and dance ultimately shines through any upsets—a valuable reflection of unity. Informational backmatter and author’s sources are extensive. Undoubtedly these will help teachers, librarians, and parents to develop Puerto Rican cultural programs, curriculum, or home activities to extend young readers’ learning. The inclusion of instructions to make one’s own homemade güiro is a thoughtful addition. The Spanish translation, also by Delacre and published simultaneously, will require a more advanced reader than the English one to recognize and comprehend contractions (“pa’bajo-pa-pa’rriba”) and relatively sophisticated vocabulary.

A welcome, well-researched reflection of cultural pride in the early-reader landscape. (Early reader. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-89239-429-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Children's Book Press

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

I WANNA IGUANA

In epistolary dialogue with his mom, a lad yearning for an iguana tries various approaches, from logic and sweet talk to emotional blackmail. His mother puts up a valiant defense—“Dear Mom: Did you know that iguanas are really quiet and they’re cute too. I think they are much cuter than hamsters. Love, your adorable son, Alex.” “Dear Alex: Tarantulas are quiet too”—before ultimately capitulating. Catrow’s scribbly, lurid, purple-and-green illustrations bring the diverse visions of parent and child to hilarious life, as a lizard of decidedly indeterminate ancestry grows in stages to the size of a horse, all the while exhibiting a doglike affection toward its balloon-headed prospective keeper—who is last seen posed by a new terrarium, pumping a fist in victory. A familiar domestic interchange, played out with broad comedy—and mutual respect, too. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-399-23717-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more