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SUNDAY by Synthia Saint James


by Synthia Saint James & illustrated by Synthia Saint James

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8075-7658-1
Publisher: Whitman

 The design is the thing in this celebration of the activities of an African-American family, by the illustrator of Karen English's Neeny Coming, Neeny Going (1995). A mother and father and their twin girls are shown sleeping late, having a pancake breakfast, and reading the Sunday paper while a contented cat sits close by. They meet the grandparents at church and ride the subway together to their home, ``listening to stories, remembering good times, helping Grandma fix supper.'' The acrylic paintings represent people and objects as massive blocks of color, with no faces and mostly still poses. The effect is of poster art, stylized representation intended for a large format and great graphic impact. The technique is skilled, as in a tableau of a minister at the pulpit, before stained glass windows; or, at its most animated, a scene of the choir director lifting her arms joyously as a sea of faceless singers looks up to the heavens. Very young members of the picture-book set may want to connect more directly with the people pictured and grow weary of the facelessness, but older children will find the bold use of color and shapes appealing. (Picture book. 5-8)