MAMA ELIZABETI

Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but this sweet sequel to the wonderful, award-winning Elizabeti’s Doll (1998) will hit a chord in any child who has had to care for a younger sibling. Mama has a new baby, Flora, so Elizabeti must leave her stone doll Eva in a corner and watch little Obedi. Surely taking care of Eva has prepared her for a day with Obedi. But what a pest he is, spilling rice she has just cleaned, wriggling so much on her back that she can’t balance the water jug on her head, and toddling away unnoticed to play hide-and-seek. How did Mama ever get anything done? Hale again gives the Tanzanian village in which this is set a dusty, open spareness, gracefully posing tall, brightly clad adults, capturing Elizabeti’s love and worry (never anger) with clearly drawn, unexaggerated gestures and expressions. Though too young to talk, Obedi comes across as an individual, too, with content, mischief, sadness, and relief chasing each other across his mobile features. After supper, as Mama cradles Flora, Elizabeti rocks Obedi to sleep in her arms—a peaceful end to a trying, important day in her life. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-58430-002-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

KEVIN AND HIS DAD

There is something profoundly elemental going on in Smalls’s book: the capturing of a moment of unmediated joy. It’s not melodramatic, but just a Saturday in which an African-American father and son immerse themselves in each other’s company when the woman of the house is away. Putting first things first, they tidy up the house, with an unheralded sense of purpose motivating their actions: “Then we clean, clean, clean the windows,/wipe, wipe, wash them right./My dad shines in the windows’ light.” When their work is done, they head for the park for some batting practice, then to the movies where the boy gets to choose between films. After a snack, they work their way homeward, racing each other, doing a dance step or two, then “Dad takes my hand and slows down./I understand, and we slow down./It’s a long, long walk./We have a quiet talk and smile.” Smalls treats the material without pretense, leaving it guileless and thus accessible to readers. Hays’s artwork is wistful and idyllic, just as this day is for one small boy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-79899-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Produced to celebrate the National Park Service’s upcoming centenary, a breezy invitation to prospective travelers to “get...

OUR GREAT BIG BACKYARD

A family road trip through several national parks transforms young Jane’s feelings about missing out on a summer of online fun with her friends.

“There’s absolutely nothing to see here,” Jane emails fretfully as her family drives through the scenic Smoky Mountains and canoes past alligators and manatees in the Everglades. But once her dad gets her to put the tablet away and look through a telescope at the night skies over Big Bend National Park, her attitude transforms: “OH WOW!” Soon she’s tiptoeing over the Grand Canyon’s Skywalk like an acrobat, playing pirate on a raft down the Colorado River, scouting out “Mountain lions, buffalo, and bears. Oh my!” in Yellowstone—and, discovering that she’s misplaced her electronic device, sending written postcards to her friends from Yosemite. Furthermore, once back home, what better way to debrief than a backyard cookout under the stars? Giving blonde Jane and the rest of her white family broad, pleasant features, Rogers sends them smiling and singing their way through a succession of natural wonders, with bears and bald eagles, footnotes (adult supervision required on the Skywalk, for instance), and only a few fellow, occasionally diverse tourists in the background. Endpaper maps track the long itinerary, and a (select) list of other national parks and sites in each state offers more destinations.

Produced to celebrate the National Park Service’s upcoming centenary, a breezy invitation to prospective travelers to “get out there!” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-246835-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more