From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?Hetty has never been down the dusty road "all by herself" before, but one morning her parents decide she's old enough to fetch eggs in town on her own. The way is long, and she makes up sing-song "walking words" to amuse herself as she goes. She strides through a meadow, across a stream, and finally "...into the cool shadows of Mr. Birdie's Emporium and Dry Goods Store." On the way home, the eggs survive a close call but break when she is tempted to pick a "Papa-size" apple. Crestfallen, she climbs the tree and sulks until her father comes looking for her. They share the delicious fruit, and then Mama joins them on their perch. The next day, it's apple pie for breakfast instead of eggs. The lyrical, rhythmic text is rich with a warm, leisurely Southern feeling. Even when disaster strikes, there's not much to worry about. The story is both timeless and old-fashioned; the tractor, cars, and truck waiting for repairs in Hetty's yard and the credit card stickers in Mr. Birdie's window ground the rural setting in the present. The watercolor illustrations radiate an almost beachlike quality of blinding light, as well as offer the shadowy relief of intense and subtle greens, blues, and browns. Hetty is a sturdy, charming African American girl with pigtails, ribbons, and overalls. This story is so cozy and sweet that it makes readers thirsty-but Lewis's paintings go down like cool clear water.?Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Ages 4^-8. A gentle story about the child Hetty, who sets off alone for the first time, down a dusty road to buy fresh eggs for her family's breakfast. On the way to the store, she practices her "smooth walk" so that the eggs won't roll around and crack in the basket she carries. On her trip home, everything goes well--until she spies an apple tree and decides to pick some fruit. As she reaches for the apples, the basket tips and the precious contents fall to the ground and crack. Disheartened, Hetty climbs the tree to a branch high above the broken shells. Before long, her worried parents arrive--first Papa, then Mama--and in a tender denouement, the three sit together in the branches, talking quietly until Hetty's confidence is restored. The story is remarkable for its evocative imagery, and the loving interchange between the characters sets a charming tone. The words are perfectly complemented by Lewis' dazzling, impressionistic watercolors that show the joyous power of love and depict a warmly supportive world in which Hetty ventures forth toward independence. A fine book that speaks straight to the heart. Shelley Townsend-Hudson
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