Thursday is library day. It's Joseph's favorite day of the week, partly because the librarian, Mrs. Ricardo, reads such great stories and partly because he can take two books home, one easy and one hard. While Joseph's mom--a busy single working mother--has a knack for storytelling (even making geraniums and empty lots sound exciting), she always manages to sidestep her son's requests to read the "hard book" to him. The truth comes out in church, where she decides it's time to learn to read, then actually does so with the help of her son. This compassionate story, illustrated with warm, richly colored oil paintings, addresses the issue of adult literacy in a gentle, hopeful way. Vashanti Rahaman--author of O Christmas Tree
and A Little Salmon for Witness
--is a frequent contributor to Cricket
and Highlights for Children
. Lori McElrath-Eslick illustrated Nancy White-Carlstrom's Does God Know How to Tie Shoes?
and I Am Christmas. (Ages 6 to 10)
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3?Joseph loves Thursdays, for those are the days his class visits the school library. The librarian is the best reader in the world and Joseph gets to take two books home; an easy one for reading by himself and a harder one that someone can read to him. The most logical someone would seem to be Joseph's mother, but, even though she is the best storyteller in the world, she always seems to find an excuse not to read to him. One day, in church, Joseph learns the truth. His mother, sharing her prayer with the congregation, admits that she cannot read. Surprised but supportive, Joseph begins to read aloud to her, as well as to accompany her to an adult education class. Satisfying in its presentation and content, this book holds up favorably with such literacy-related titles as Muriel Stanek's My Mom Can't Read (Albert Whitman, 1986) and Delores Johnson's Papa's Stories (Macmillan, 1994). The oil paintings of the African-American boy and his mother are serviceable but somewhat uneven; the appearance of the mother in particular seems to vary from page to page.?Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
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