From Publishers Weekly
Seven-year-old Abdul is not the only one who needs patience here?first-time author/illustrator Sandoval makes readers wait for the storytelling to begin as she rather lengthily sets the scene. In the West African nation of Sierra Leone, Abdul struggles to earn money so that he may pay the fees to attend school. As Abdul somewhat unsuccessfully tries to sell oranges, his parents remind him to be patient. The story shifts abruptly to describe Abdul's little sister, a bustling market square and an elaborate parade. When at last Abdul's taxi driver father earns the needed money (from parade-goers), Abdul thanks Allah for the outcome as well as the lesson in patience. Unfortunately, Poppa's extra income comes off almost as a deus ex machina ploy, in no way dependent on Abdul's sincere efforts. Sandoval's sunny, artless acrylics are the most pleasing element of this book; they seem to underscore the lesson in childlike trust. But they don't provide the cohesiveness and drive this story needs. Ages 5-9. (Aug.)Fiction
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2?Seven-year-old Abdul wants to go back to school more than anything, but in Freetown, Sierra Leone, schools are not free, so the boy must sell oranges in the marketplace to help earn his fee. As his coins slowly accumulate, his grandmother and mother admonish him to be patient?very hard for a youngster eager to learn. After the Independence Day parade, Poppa adds the fares he has earned as a taxi driver to Abdul's money box and there is enough for him to go to school again. Bright, primitive, acrylic paintings portray a loving family, street scenes, people, and their customs to enhance readers' understanding of a different culture.?Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.