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Janna and the Kings School & Library Binding – September, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-An African-American girl looks forward to Saturdays, which she spends with her grandfather. When they are together, Janna becomes Princess Sugarlump and he becomes a king. They enjoy walks down Madison Street, trips to the corner store, and Janna's favorite place, Terrell's barbershop. The other kings await her entrance and greet her with sweet words such as "pretty" and "there's our baby," making her feel extra special. When Granddaddy dies, Janna is devastated. In an effort to enter the world again, she walks down Madison Street and finally decides to stop in the barbershop. The kind voices once again beckon her inside, and Janna realizes that her granddaddy is still present among the other kings. Filled with descriptive language, this book is a good choice to use in helping children to deal with death. The vibrant watercolor paintings successfully set the tone of this intergenerational story.
Tracy Bell, Durham Public Schools, NC
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Granddaddy is Janna's best friend. Every Saturday, Janna feels as if she's "strolling a kingdom with a king" when she walks through the neighborhood with him. Her favorite stop is the barbershop, where Granddaddy's friends, the other "kings," treat her like a princess. Then Janna's mom receives the call that Granddaddy has died. Janna misses him greatly, and she's worried that without her "king," she no longer belongs at the barbershop. But when she finally returns to visit, her old friends welcome her, and she feels Granddaddy's love. In her picture-book debut, which won the publisher's New Voices Award, Smith tells a tender story about an African American family that effectively captures colloquial phrases and rhythms: "Girl, stop pokin' so slow or you'll be late for school," and Boyd's bright watercolor spreads nicely interpret the characters' emotions and the sense of community. Many children will long for their own Granddaddy, who knows that the "princess treatment" includes listening and encouraging a girl to speak her mind. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
  • School & Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books; 1st ed edition (September 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584300884
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584300885
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,710,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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