Children's Literature - Suzanna E. HenshonColin Bootman, a Coretta Scott King Honor-winning artist, brings a magical touch to the illustrations of Fish for the Grand Lady. Each page of the story takes readers further into the heart of Trinidad's beautiful landscape where Bootman was born and raised. Bootman textures the story with an island dialect that is carefully explained in an author's note at the end of the book. Early one morning, Colly and Derrick wake up and begin a fishing expedition. When the boys arrive at their favorite fishing spot, they are determined to catch fish and make Grand Lady proud. They bring home a bucket of fishand great memories to share with Grand Lady. Each page is a stand-alone illustration, beautifully composed with an unforgettable illustration that carries readers through the landscape of Trinidad as seen through the eyes of two young boys. Bootman's wonderful talent illuminates this book, and readers of all ages will find the illustrations appealing.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 1-3-Set in Trinidad, this story features two young brothers who aim to please their grandmother. Colly and Derrick have great plans to catch more fish than their Grand Lady can cook in one day. Wanting to make her proud of their skills and their ability to provide for their family, they buy new hooks, dig lots of worms, and head for a new angling spot. But their efforts are unsuccessful until, by accident, they discover a different way to fill their bucket. Bootman's rich oil paintings evoke a sun-drenched tropical setting. The beautifully illustrated faces are central to most pages, giving the characters complexity and depth. The family relationships are loving and natural and provide a satisfying glimpse of the culture. The text is well paced, but the dialect can be challenging to read, even with the help of the appended glossary. If readers are not familiar with the cadences and rhythms of the language, some of the pleasure of this simple tale might be lost. Nevertheless, this book is a worthwhile addition for libraries seeking to expand their multicultural collections.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsTwo young Trinidadian brothers spend an idyllic morning at their favorite fishing spot. Before the cocks have even crowed, Colly wakes up his big brother Derrick (who narrates the tale in first person) to get started on their fishing trip. They promise their grandmother, whom they call Grand Lady, that they'll bring back more fish than she can cook in a day. Bootman's beautiful oil paintings depict the lush countryside and the bustling market that the boys pass through on their way to their spot, a river snaking around St. Joseph's Mountain. Some horseplay gets Derrick and Colly as wet as the fish, but they catch enough to bring a big smile to the face of the Grand Lady. Illustrator Bootman's first writing effort is crisp and evocative, and a glossary of terms from the Trinidadian dialect adds a welcome learning component. Lovely slice of life from a nearby nation. (Picture book. 5-9)
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