Net to Catch Time

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Cuffy wants to buy a boat someday and become a fisherman like his father. In order to earn money, he'll have to do a good business selling his grandma's deviled crabs. From the Gullah culture of Georgia's beautiful Sea Islands comes A Net to Catch Time, a warm family story that recounts a day in the life of a spirited little boy. Follow Cuffy from FIRST FOWL CROW (5:30 in the morning) when he catches the crabs, to SUN LAY OVER (2:30 in the afternoon) as Cuffy watches his grandmother prepare them, to CANDLE LIGHT ...
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Cook, Scott 1996 Hard cover Illustrated. Very Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. Contains: Illustrations. Intended for a juvenile audience.

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Overview

Cuffy wants to buy a boat someday and become a fisherman like his father. In order to earn money, he'll have to do a good business selling his grandma's deviled crabs. From the Gullah culture of Georgia's beautiful Sea Islands comes A Net to Catch Time, a warm family story that recounts a day in the life of a spirited little boy. Follow Cuffy from FIRST FOWL CROW (5:30 in the morning) when he catches the crabs, to SUN LAY OVER (2:30 in the afternoon) as Cuffy watches his grandmother prepare them, to CANDLE LIGHT TIME (twilight) when the island is quiet and the stars come out. Each dazzling spread shows a new time of day, and each time of day has its own lyrical Gullah name. Scott Cook's pastels create even more warmth and flavor in lively island hues. A glossary of Gullah expressions is included.

Depicts a day in the life of a boy on one of Georgia's barrier islands as sequenced by the Gullah terms for time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The "net to catch time" of this evocative book's title would be language itself-more specifically, the dialect of the vanishing Gullah culture. A Gullah boy, Cuffy, is fast asleep while his fisherman father casts his nets at "Sooner Mornin'," the first of 14 stages of time in the Gullah day. Cuffy's own day begins at First Fowl Crow, and by First-Whistle Blow he is in the sea shallows hunting for crabs. At Sun Lay Over, "the hottest part of the day," his grandmother is making deviled crabs; at Sun Lay Way Over, Cuffy sells them to the people arriving on the ferry boat from the mainland. Banks (Remember My Name) lyrically incorporates a host of Gullah words and phrases into her sweet, satisfying tale of a loving family. Suggesting a setting of at least several decades ago, Cook's (Nettie Jo's Friends) well-matched illustrations paint an island made hazy with sunlight, softly drawn in pastels flecked with gold. His comfortable-looking characters look as warmhearted as they sound in the text. An author's note supplies historical information about the birth of Gullah culture on Georgia barrier islands in the 1800s. Ages 3-8. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2It's "Sooner Mornin'" (5:00 a.m.) and Prince, a Gullah fisherman, is casting his net off one of the barrier islands of Georgia. At "First Fowl Crow" (5:30 a.m.) Cuffy, Prince's son, wakes up ready to eat breakfast and begin his day catching crabs for his beloved "Dahomey" to cook. Cuffy takes the delicious deviled crawlies down to the ferry that will arrive on the island at "Sun Lay Way Over" (4:30 p.m.). Readers will enjoy going through a traditional Gullah day, ending with "Hag Hollerin' Time," which stretches from midnight to when the sun lights the horizon for the next day. Time comes full circle in this engaging story. The book is rich in the Gullah tradition; a glossary and Gullah calendar complete with illustrations are included. The soft-pastel pictures are filled with comfortable round shapes, and have a muted glow that matches the island atmosphere. This tender tale of family love and sharing is one to be savored, and would be wonderful as a "tuck-in" story.Kathy Mitchell, Gadsden Co. Public Library, Quincy, FL
Kirkus Reviews
A day in the life of young Cuffy, the son of a fisherman on a barrier island off Georgia, set to a Gullah "calendar," which, Banks notes in an afterword, she found "oddly beautiful." Before Cuffy's story starts, there is a glossary, followed by Cook's sweet watercolor rendition of the diurnal calendar, to be read clockwise, showing the lyrical Gullah names for the times of day: "Sooner Mornin'," or just before dawn, "First Fowl Crow," "Day Clean," when dawn breaks, and on through "Plat-Eye Prowl," when nocturnal animals awaken, and "Hag-Hollerin' Time," after midnight. These terms are then incorporated into the story of Cuffy's day, which includes the crowing of his Dahomey's (grandmother's) "frizzled ol' bird" and proceeds through breakfast with his infant sister Bina, his gathering of crabs, and Dahomey's turning them into deviled crabs that Cuffy sells to visitors off the ferry. The boy plans to use the money he takes in—and there is never any doubt that he'll take money in—to buy a boat in order to become a fisherman like his father, Prince. So much is left unsaid that this idyll has at least one unsettling element: There is no mention of Cuffy's mother, whose absence, judging by Bina's age, must be fairly new.

The names for the times of day are inherently fascinating, as are the many details of Gullah life and lore, but they lose much of their power and intrigue when shoehorned into this story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679966739
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.34 (d)

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