Around Our Way on Neighbors' Day

Overview

Neighbors gather on a hot summer day for a joyful block party: Kids play double Dutch; men debate at the barber shop and play chess; mothers and aunts cook up oxtail stew, collard greens, and other delicious treats; and friends dance and sway as jazz floats through the streets.

A rhythmic tale that celebrates the diversity of a close-knit community, Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day will excite readers and prompt them to discover the magic of ...

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Overview

Neighbors gather on a hot summer day for a joyful block party: Kids play double Dutch; men debate at the barber shop and play chess; mothers and aunts cook up oxtail stew, collard greens, and other delicious treats; and friends dance and sway as jazz floats through the streets.

A rhythmic tale that celebrates the diversity of a close-knit community, Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day will excite readers and prompt them to discover the magic of their own special surroundings.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Under a "blue sky, no clouds," on a hot summer day a youngster celebrates the diversity of her neighborhood on Neighbors' Day. In rhythmic rhymes kids dance, jump rope, and eat ice cream. Uncle Charlie and Grandpop are talking in the barbershop; Mr. O and Mr. Wong are playing chess; Momma is cooking and burning something in the kitchen. Other neighbors are bringing assorted food to the block party, from Tante Elise's gumbo and Ms. Consuelo's rice and beans to Granny's spicy collard greens and Ms. Fu's grilled lime chicken. As the day winds down, there is music, dancing, and games to play in happy celebration. Nothing sits still on these double pages. The people, buildings, even the sidewalks seem to vibrate as they are shaped by acrylics looking as if they were applied with fingers. Sometimes scenes are viewed from above; other times from the midst of a throbbing crowd. The author notes being inspired by her childhood neighborhood camaraderie and block parties. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Similar in variety of activities to Lee Bennett Hopkins's City I Love (Abrams, 2009), and similar in tone to Barbara Joosse's Hot City (Philomel, 2004), this story introduces a young narrator who seems to have covered every inch of her diverse urban block, celebrating a special day with her neighbors and relatives, dancing, double-Dutch jumping, snacking, and having fun in her own backyard. Full-bleed spreads in hot summer colors show the vibrant neighborhood as it pulsates with life. The book's lively illustrations and energetic main character lead readers to think about their own neighborhood, and the kind acts and community spirit that make good neighbors. This story in verse is sure to receive a warm welcome, and it might inspire youngsters to institute their own "Neighbors' Day."—Sarah Provence, Churchill Road Elementary School, McLean, VA
Kirkus Reviews
"Blue sky, no clouds, / Summer heat, side street, / Whirling, whizzing feet. / Everyone is out to play / Today, around our way." It's a sunny, summer day—perfect for a block party. A pig-tailed protagonist heads home after double Dutch and dancing to help Momma cook. On her way she encounters some familiar sights: Grandpop at the barber's, Raven painting a mural, a ball game at the center. In this lively and accessible poem, a multicultural community brings food, music and laughter to the streets to celebrate their neighborhood. Expressionist-inspired acrylics in an earthy palette strive to reflect the diversity of Brown's characters. Unfortunately, Riley-Webb's inconsistent use of lines to both define form and indicate motion creates a muddied result. Multiple perspectives are often attempted, but the discrepancies in the way brushstrokes are applied makes the work look flat and disjointed. A stronger choice for celebrating city summers and community is Ruth Forman's Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon, illustrated by Cbabi Bayoc (2007). (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810989719
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 831,087
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tameka Fryer Brown was inspired by the Miami neighborhood in which she grew up. Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day is her first book. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte Riley-Webb is the award-winning illustrator of six books for children, including The Entrance Place of Wonders. She lives in Stockbridge, Georgia.

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