We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past

Author: Jacqueline Woodson, Diane Greenseid

Teeka fondly recalls the humor, the personalities, and the food that make up a family picnic in a debut picture book by a Coretta Scott King Honor-novelist. Doubleday Alt.

 

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PreSchool-Grade 3AReaders join Teeka’s sprawling urban African-American family for their annual picnic in the park and experience an event so joyous and loving that they’ll feel they were there. Electrified, rhythmic language catches one’s attention from the first phrase: “Grandma wore her blue dress with all those flowers on it. Brought biscuits and chicken and me.” One by one, readers meet the folks who gather and are captured by Teeka’s sharp eye and tongue: “Uncle Luther set a loaf of cinnamon bread in the center of things. Grandma, smiling, just as proud, said ‘Can’t my boy bake himself some bread!'” The observations are loosely bound together by the family’s collective suspense about whether Aunt Martha will arrive with her traditionally dried-out apple piesAand by all the other food that arrives at the party. Every vividly hued page reveals a new family member and some small, familiar interaction. The acrylic illustrations on double-page spreads are so energetic that they nearly leap off the pages. Faces reveal warmth and humor. The text, in felt-tip pen and backed by a contrasting border, adds to the casual, open feel of the book. This title will be a great companion to Cynthia Rylant’s The Relatives Came (S & S, 1985). This picnic is a grand event for group read-alouds and competent independent readers.ACarolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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