From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Lily wishes that she could wear a costume like her big sister Christine and "jump up," or parade across the stage, during the Children's Carnival. As the whole family works together on Christine's hummingbird outfit, Lily is jealous and can't wait until the celebration is over, "Because that go be de end of that old Carnival costume." On the big day, Christine sees the stage where the jump up will take place and is frightened. Lily reassures her and the older girl joins the other children to "play mas." Later, Christine lets Lily wear her hummingbird headdress. No background information about Carnival is provided, though readers can guess the meaning of "jumping up" and "playing mas" from the context. Saport's pastel illustrations are earth toned. The round-faced characters are reminiscent of Henri Rousseau's island paintings and their features express the moods in the story well. Although the illustrations capture the warmth of home and family, they do not effectively convey the tumult of Carnival day or the big stage that scares Christine. Still, the story is genuine and expresses feelings that kids will certainly relate to. Other books about Carnival added to this one will complete the picture of this exciting time of year.
Sally Bates Goodroe, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5^-8. Although she can't help feeling exuberant at the coming of carnival, with its music and festivities, Lily is sick of the subject of her big sister's first carnival costume. Six months' work has gone into constructing the splendid hummingbird costume, but when it comes time for Christine to get up on stage and "jump up," she freezes. It's Lily's encouragement that finally helps Christine overcome the fear. Saport's richly saturated oil pastels, in shades of salmon, turquoise, yellow, and blue, give the book a tropical feel. The strong illustrations might have overwhelmed the text. Instead, they match the lilting vernacular of Joseph's language, enhancing the satisfying, believable family story. Together, the words and pictures capture the highly charged emotion and spectacle of the holiday as it is celebrated in Trinidad. Susan Dove Lempke
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