by Ellen Yeomans, Tim Ladwig

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The 'jubilee' celebrated in this book appears at first glance to be an old-fashioned, all-American picnic attended by multicultural guests: "They'll have corn on the cob and barbecue, they'll have salt potatoes and clams...soda pop, cold and fizzy, and ice cream..." The food is classic American fare, the faces of the partygoers are Asian, Caucasian, African American and Latino, yet their activities are all-American too: "It's kids against grown-ups as baseballs pop-fly..." and "with fiddles and harps and banjos and spoons...they'll two-step and shuffle, they'll clog and they'll jig..." If 'jubilee' naturally brings to mind a celebration, often a 25th or 50th anniversary party, it is useful to remember that the word also has religious roots in both Jewish history and the Roman Catholic Church. For the front jacket copy tells you that the real subject of this jubilee is the author's "vision of heaven." The text offers subtle clues at the beginning and at the end that its real subject is more than just a picnic, and the illustrations underscore the more serious theme in an equally gentle manner. Brown, gray and dark green illustrations at the start lead away from a lonely forest to the warmer colors of the picnic and the text reads, "they've waited so long all glad to be gathered—jubilee." The larger theme is also stated in the final line, "all joy is to be—jubilee," and a boy is pictured waving and running out of the dreary forest toward the party's vivid yellows, greens and reds. 2004, Eerdmans Books For Young Readers, Ages 4 to 8.
—J. H. Diehl
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Using a quiet text and muted palette, the first few pages of this picture book depict a natural setting, as readers are invited to walk through the woods and out into the sun. From this point on, most of the action takes place in a clearing, and the sun-filled artwork shows folks of every color joining together for the "Jubilee." The rhythmic text picks up its pace as the hugging, joking, and eating begin. The "Jubilee" is presented as a big family picnic with games, singing, and dancing. The artwork, done in acrylics and watercolor washes, captures the joy of the occasion, and caricature-style people populate the pictures. They swing with the music and dance and play with abandon. Tables overflow with mouthwatering favorites, and children nibble on blueberries, corn, and ice cream. "Jubilee" is not explained in the text, and it may be an unfamiliar concept to many youngsters. If children hear this story without knowing that the term refers to heaven, they will view this as a family reunion, and will feel the happiness of the gathering. However, if they are aware that all of these people are deceased, the book could be very disturbing.-Carolyn Janssen, Children's Learning Center of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
11.08(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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