CHERRIES AND CHERRY PITS
In this ingeniously executed series of stories within a story a young black child shares herself, her art and cherries with the world. When imaginative Bidemmi is given a new magic marker by her friend, the story's narrator, she tells and draws three stories about people bringing home small portions of sweet, dark cherries to those they love. Then, in a final story, Bidemmi draws herself planting a cherry tree so that her friends can all partake. Williams excels in depicting a world where people with little material wealth and their share of life's troubles are nevertheless able to offer others whatever simple gifts they possess. Watercolor illustrations, rendered in rich cherry reds, warm yellows, and browns, perfectly complement the mood of the text. The naively impressionistic art for the framework story effectively contrasts Bidernmi's deceptively childlike compositions; a lively variety of imaginative details will keep any viewer's interest. Unfortunately, the final lines present a limp conclusion to an otherwise strong story, but the overall impact, like the cherries, is delicious.