From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–A bittersweet ode to a beloved bookstore that is threatened with closure. Destiny loves words, and the store's owner has long fostered that love by allowing the girl to hang around, encouraging her to learn new words and letting her help stock shelves and water the plants. Their special relationship may come to an end, however, when Destiny learns that Mrs. Wade can no longer afford the rent. This quiet, evocative book clearly reflects the special sense of community that a wonderful neighborhood bookstore can bring. However, there are no pat solutions here; the story ends with the closure still looming in spite of a community effort to appeal to the landlord and raise funds. The only resolution is Destiny's gift, a gift of words in the form of a story she has written for Mrs. Wade. Collage illustrations in soothing tones are a bit static, yet combine lovely, textured papers with pencil enhancements to create a warm, multicultural environment complete with well-stocked bookstore shelves. Pair this story with Arthur Levine's Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand
(Morrow, 1993; o.p.) to spark a conversation about the importance of community involvement. Though not an essential purchase, a worthwhile addition nonetheless.–Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. The local children's bookstore is a special place for Destiny, who visits there and helps out after school and on weekends. She has a close bond with the owner, Mrs. Wade, who shares books and talks about the magic of words and stories. Then the rent goes up and the store may have to close, and that galvanizes Destiny and her parents to organize the neighborhood with fund-raisers and demonstrations to try to save the store. The characters are idyllic, but there's no slick solution: it's never certain that the store will remain open. Burrowes' clear, bright collages of cut paper, watercolor, and acrylics show individuals in a vital African American neighborhood, and the bookstore is a lively place with shelves of books displayed on almost every page. Many kids will relate to the adult who brings them the gift of story--at home, at school, at the library, or at the bookstore. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved