From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-In 1936, a girl and her father, a professional photographer, spend a summer in Atlantic City, NJ. As they stroll the boardwalk, they are greeted by amazing sights, from card-playing cats to boxing kangaroos. However, to Ivy Cordelia, nothing is more wondrous than the high-diving horses and their riders. She meets the two sisters, Arnette and Sonora, who care for and ride the animals, and they let Ivy help them. At the end of August, the child dreads leaving the horses, but has her dream come true. Arnette lifts her on to Red Lips, gets on herself, and they dive into the tank below. This gently told story captures a small piece of history that must have created unforgettable memories for those who visited the Steel Pier. The muted tones of the illustrations are reminiscent of old postcards. Juxtaposed next to full-page pictures are drawings that look like the snapshots Ivy's father was taking. The expressive artwork and heartwarming text seamlessly come together to create a worthy tribute to these remarkable young women and their brave steeds.Carol Schene, Taunton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 3. Ivy Cordelia can't wait to spend the summer of 1936 in Atlantic City with her photographer father. She loves all the animal spectacles ("the boxing kangaroos, card-playing cats, dog on a surfboard"), but her favorite is the high-diving horses, and she dreams of being one of the bathing-suited beauties who ride them. By the end of the summer, she is invited to take a parting dive on horseback, and years later she finds her own job as a girl on a high-diving horse. High tells her warm, nostalgic story in musical, well-paced language filled with dialogue that makes clear Ivy's excitement and yearning. Lewin captures the sunny chaos of the boardwalk in busy, taffy-colored watercolor paintings, which, according to his note, are intended to mimic old-fashioned postcards. The pictures also explain most of the text's old-time references, such as the rolling chair, and the large spreads of the leaping animal performers and their brave riders will easily draw children into the sentimental, but not saccharine, story of a dream fulfilled. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved