Neeny Coming, Neeny Going

Neeny Coming, Neeny Going

by Karen English, Synthia Saint James
     
 

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Essie is excited to see her cousin Neeny, who recently moved to the South Carolina mainland from Daufuskie Island. Neeny is now a fancy young lady, no longer interested in the island way of life. But does anyone ever really forget their roots? Essie knows the answer and gives her cousin a special gift that wil l always keep the island close to her. Full color.  See more details below

Overview

Essie is excited to see her cousin Neeny, who recently moved to the South Carolina mainland from Daufuskie Island. Neeny is now a fancy young lady, no longer interested in the island way of life. But does anyone ever really forget their roots? Essie knows the answer and gives her cousin a special gift that wil l always keep the island close to her. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book purports to acknowledge changes that have taken place over the years in the Sea Islands off South Carolina: the encroachment of pollution, job losses, migration to the mainland. However, newcomer English tells her tale in such an oblique way that without the introduction it would be difficult to glean her intent. The narrator, Essie, lives with her grandmother on Daufuskie Island and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of cousin Neeny. The two girls had been "like sisters" until Neeny moved to the mainland to be with her mother. At first Essie's emotion is infectious ("Neeny coming!-Neeny coming tomorrow!"), but as soon as her cousin steps ashore, twirling a parasol, it is obvious (to the reader, if not to Essie) that the visit will be a letdown. Neeny has changed-"Neeny come like a visitor who didn't want to visit" and the rest of the text catalogues her disdainful comparisons of island ways with the refinements of her city home. Saint James's (Tukama Tootles the Flute) abstract artwork, for all its bright blocks of color and dramatic style, fails to add much zest; her silhouetted figures seem to be suspended in silence and stillness. Only her spread of Neeny's going-away party suggests the vigor of island life. A disappointment. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3A story set on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, in the 1950s. Essie eagerly awaits the arrival of her cousin Neeny, who went to the mainland to live with her mother and is now returning for a visit. Essie is disappointed to find that Neeny has changed, and is now unwilling to take part in gathering berries and fishing. She no longer likes "clashy" colors, and wears only store-bought dresses, abhorring the bright clothing their grandmother made. At her farewell party, she seems happy to be returning to her new home, and invites Essie to visit her in the city. She leaves with an unopened gift from her cousin-Essie's quilt, made by their grandmother and full of bits of memorable clothing and clashy colors-which will eventually connect her with her heritage. The story is told in an imitation of Gullah speech patterns, not so faithful that it becomes an exercise in phonetic transliteration, but lilting in the verbs and inflections and occasional uses of island diction. The illustrations are done in what appear to be collages of bright, flat colors with faces expressive in their shapes, indicating attitude and motion, for there are no drawn facial features. Size, shape, and motion are all evident, as are the brilliant, deep, "clashy" colors. But these are not collages, but drawings, the hard edges achieved by careful craftsmanship. A physically beautiful and memorable book.Ruth K. MacDonald, Bay Path College, Longmeadow, MA
Kirkus Reviews
English's first book employs a seamless blend of American and West African language and custom in a story about the pull of family, set in the 1950s on Daufuskie Island, off the coast of South Carolina.

The story is simple—Neeny, who lives with her mother in Charleston, is returning to the island to visit her cousin, the nameless narrator who repeatedly announces the visit to others. When Neeny arrives, what a disappointment! She's no longer interested in activities the girls enjoyed before—early-morning searches for sweetgrass for use in basketmaking, crabbing, or picking berries for Dada's cobbler. On the last night of her visit, however, the island family throws a party and "Neeny have a good time, I think." Neeny has come "like a visitor who didn't want to visit," but the narrator is still sad that she is leaving, so makes a gift to her cousin of a quilt made of family clothing. The shapes and forms of island life appear in minimalist blocks of primary color by Saint James that add pure sparkle to an already affecting, bittersweet text; it will encourage readers to recollect their own family members who have been, come, and gone.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816737970
Publisher:
Troll Communications L.L.C.
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.85(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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