JUNK MAN’S DAUGHTER by Sonia Levitin


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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Levitin’s tale of a hardworking immigrant family pulling itself up to prosperity through hard times is inspiring, if hobbled by bland illustrations and flawed page design. Papa’s claim that America’s streets are made of gold carries the family over from the (unspecified, but European) old country to the big city. Mama’s steady optimism takes over when his enthusiasm wears down, and it’s the eldest daughter who spots the discarded bottles and other rubbish in the snowy street that, industriously collected, sorted and sold, sparks the slow but steady growth of a successful business. That rubbish looks brand new in the art, though, as does the spacious urban setting, the tidy interiors and the clothing on the shiny-faced protagonists. Along with providing little sense of what immigrant neighborhoods actually looked like in the 20th-century’s early years and giving no visual clue of the family’s poverty, the illustrations don’t always leave space for the daughter’s narrative—which on one page [the penultimate spread], at least, is almost drowned by the busy background. Too bad: The story is an important American one that merits every iteration it receives. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58536-315-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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