JUMP UP TIME

A TRINIDAD CARNIVAL STORY

It’s Carnival time in Trinidad and everyone is ready to celebrate, especially sisters Christine and Lily. But while the family prepares an elaborate hummingbird costume for the older Christine, Lily is too young to participate and feels left out. Her sulky grumbles add humor and authenticity to her plight as Christine soaks up all the attention. When Carnival time comes, and Christine has a bout of stage fright, Lily gives her the confidence to “jump up,” and realizes that she’s been a part of the celebration all along. Joseph (Jasmine’s Parlour Day, 1994, etc.) peppers the narrative with distinctive dialect and evocative descriptions, expertly juxtaposing the glamorous glitter of the tradition (“skirts with bells and sparkles, helmets with spiky horns, and fat, long tails trailing in the grass”) with a child’s desire (“Lily looks down at her plain brown legs. She wishes hard that they would turn into something sparkly and special”). Saport’s calypso colors perfectly capture the warmth of the culture and the expressive characters that star in this rare treat—a festival of Caribbean life and family camaraderie. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 1998

ISBN: 0-395-65012-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

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A PLUMP AND PERKY TURKEY

The leaves have changed, Thanksgiving nears—and the canny turkeys of Squawk Valley have decamped, leaving local residents to face the prospect of a birdless holiday. What to do? They decide to lure a bird back by appealing to its vanity, placing a want ad for a model to help sculptors creating turkey art, then “inviting” the bird to dinner. The ploy works, too, for out of the woods struts plump and perky Pete to take on the job. Shelly debuts with brightly hued cartoon scenes featuring pop-eyed country folk and deceptively silly-looking gobblers. Pete may be vain, but he hasn’t lost the wiliness of his wild ancestors; when the townsfolk come for him, he hides amidst a flock of sculpted gobblers—“There were turkeys made of spuds, / there were turkeys made of rope. / There were turkeys made of paper, / there were turkeys made of soap. / The room was full of turkeys / in a wall to wall collage. / For a clever bird like Pete / it was perfect camouflage.” He makes his escape, and is last seen lounging on a turkey-filled tropical beach as the disappointed Squawk Valleyites gather round the table for a main course of . . . shredded wheat. Good for a few giggles. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-890817-91-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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