FRUITS by Valerie Bloom


A Caribbean Counting Poem
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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 From half a pawpaw to ten bananas, a cornucopia of ripe, colorful Caribbean fruits prove irresistible to a young girl and her little sister. Eating and counting her way through a tempting array of fruits such as the guinep, jackfruit, naseberry and sweet-sop, Ö la The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an island youngster becomes predictably sick. First published in Britain as part of a collection, Duppy Jamboree (1992), this edible escapade is in the form of a rhymed poem, spoken in Jamaican dialect. ``Five june-plum, ah can't believe it!/How dem know june-plum's me fav'rit?/But why dem hide dem in de cupboard?/Cho, people can be so awkward.'' Although authentic to the Patwa language, the pronunciations and cadences can, for unpracticed readers, result in a halting tempo rather than the intended rhythmic lilt. Axtell's textured oil paintings of fruits, clothing, and houses are drenched in colors as juicy as sliced watermelon. His first picture book makes bold use of flamingo pinks, pumpkin oranges, key lime aquas, and shiny slicker yellows to season the visual palette from cover to cover, including the apple-red fences on the endpapers. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8050-5171-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997