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Jasmine's Parlour Day

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As the sun rises, it ``rounds the corner of Jasmine's house and shines through her window like it means business.'' Her mother stands in the doorway, ``balancing her big straw basket on her head like an angel with a heavy halo.'' Similarly spirited description fills Joseph's winsome tale of a day Jasmine spends with her mother at their ``wooden parlour,'' the beachside stand where they sell fresh fish and sugar cakes. Use of island dialect lends authenticity: Jasmine remarks that ``De sky blue for so. . . . Plenty people go want to come play at de beach today.'' As Jasmine and her friend visit the various other vendors (selling crab soup, coconut water, mangoes and polished conch shells), a stream of brightly colored cars brings surfers and swimmers to the beach. Dominated by electric pinks and greens, Grifalconi's ( The Village of Round and Square Houses ) energetic, large-scale illustrations make the book's tropical setting come very much alive. Once again, Joseph ( Island Christmas ; Coconut Kind of Day ) depicts an island ritual that shows the old and the new in delicate balance. Ages 4-up. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Young Jasmine accompanies her mother to sell fish and sugar cakes at a ``parlour,'' a market stand near the beach at Maracas Bay in Trinidad. Before the beachgoers arrive and the workday begins, the girl visits her friends at the other stands, and then returns to help her mother. Joseph's lighthearted story is written in a modified dialect and captures the sights and sounds of island life. The narrative is vivid and flowing, relying on humor rather than suspense to hold readers' attention. Jasmine, for instance, arranges the fish in size order, as is done in school, but with the smallest one in back, for ``she never liked being a little fish in front.'' Grifalconi's watercolors are bold, bright, and sun dappled, but have a hurried, unfinished look. Nonetheless, this entertaining story will make a successful read-aloud.-Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Hazel Rochman
Like Joseph's "Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems" (1990), this is a celebratory picture of island life in Trinidad. Parlour Day is market day at the beach. Jasmine and her mother carry their fresh fish and sugar cakes to their wooden parlour stall and set up for the day. Then, with her best friend, Jasmine visits the other stalls to see who's there and what they're selling: shark 'n' bake at one stall; spicy mango chutney and poulari balls at another; huge conch shells here; guavas, soursops, and mangoes there. The language is lively, with occasional lilting dialogue ("De sky blue for so. . . . Plenty people go want to come play at de beach today"). Grifalconi's double-page spreads, sundrenched watercolors in brilliant shades of pink and green, capture the tropical-island landscape, the liveliness and diversity of the marketplace, and also the individual faces of mother and daughter. Not really a story, but a vital scene of one child and her community.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688114879
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.33 (w) x 11.37 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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