Nettie Jo's Friends

Overview

Illus. in full color. While searching for a sewing needle to make her doll a new dress, "Nettie Jo helps Miz Rabbit unflop her ears, Fox get the sun out of his eyes, and Panther stop his sneezing. The trio turns up on her doorstep, with a needle as a thank-you gift. McKissack sets her story in the rural South at the turn of the century and offers a feisty black heroine whose ordinary concerns are caressed by fantasy. Cook's oil paintings are suffused with a golden glow...as soft as a kiss, yet filled wtih energy....
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Hardcover New 1989, 9 x 10.5 in size, Hardcover with dustjacket in protected mylar cover (removable). Unused Condition. Book is completely intact with inside pages in Excellent ... Condition with no tears and with no notations (no pencil marks, no underlining, no highlighting, etc. ) Read more Show Less

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Overview

Illus. in full color. While searching for a sewing needle to make her doll a new dress, "Nettie Jo helps Miz Rabbit unflop her ears, Fox get the sun out of his eyes, and Panther stop his sneezing. The trio turns up on her doorstep, with a needle as a thank-you gift. McKissack sets her story in the rural South at the turn of the century and offers a feisty black heroine whose ordinary concerns are caressed by fantasy. Cook's oil paintings are suffused with a golden glow...as soft as a kiss, yet filled wtih energy. A warm, witty wedding of text and art."—(starred) Booklist.

Nettie Jo desperately needs a needle to sew a new wedding dress for her beloved doll, but the three animals she helps during her search do not seem inclined to give her their assistance in return.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McKissack, known for Flossie and the Fox and the more recent Mirandy and Brother Wind , joins forces with Cook, who debuted last year with a painterly version of The Gingerbread Boy. Their combined talents in this book create a folktale that, if convoluted, has many valuable points. Nettie Jo's mother is sewing her a new dress for a wedding. But Nettie Jo wants to make sure her doll, Annie Mae, has a new dress, too. She has the fabric, but with all the women preparing for the wedding, a sewing needle is scarce. So Nettie Jo leaves home to find her own needle, enlisting the help of a rabbit, a fox and a panther. The story aptly shows the power of a little imagination in creating solutions, and there is a fine piece of dramatic tension when Nettie Jo gets up the courage to face Panther. But the rest of the story unwinds without a definite sense of cause and effect; the animals race aroundpredator and preybut their sudden attack of good manners is inexplicable. As for Cook, he again employs a technique that leaves shimmering streaks of paint on the page. But Nettie Jo's face, capable of great expression on some pages, seems almost frozen in others. The potential for excellence is here, but readers' expectations will remain mostly unfulfilled. Ages 4-9. Apr.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- Nettie Jo is eagerly anticipating her cousin's wedding until she is told that her beloved doll and constant companion, Annie Mae, is too ``scraggly-looking'' to go. Nettie Jo's mother manages to find a scrap of leftover lace to make a new dress for the doll, but no one in the busy family has a spare sewing needle. Determined to go to the wedding and to take her doll, Nettie Jo sets out in search of a needle. Her day-long search turns up many interesting objects, but no sewing needle. During her search, Nettie Jo meets Miz Rabbit, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Panther, all of whom have problems of their own. Using the objects that she has found, Nettie Jo is able to solve their problems, and they, in turn, provide a satisfying resolution to her dilemma. Once again, McKissack has created a warm, faintly nostalgic story with roots in the rural South. Like the heroine of Flossie and the Fox Dial, 1986, Nettie Jo is appealingly forthright and self-confident. The story is nicely patterned and repetitive, with a few surprising twists that add humor and a touch of drama. McKissack gracefully incorporates elements of fantasy into her otherwise realistic setting, creating a very child-like world in which magic is expected and accepted. As in her previous books, she displays a real feel for language. Her authentic Southern vernacular is rich and rhythmic with a natural flow that reads well aloud. Cook's illustrations are a perfect match for McKissack's story. The fluid lines and natural postures of his figures provide each character with an animated individuality. Warm-skinned Nettie Jo is especially attractive, depicted as a bright, sunny black child without any trace of cloying sweetness. The fuzzy, out-of-focus look of Cook's pictures supports and reinforces the fantasy of the story, while his palette of reds and golds evokes the feel of a late summer day in the South. His use of light and shadow moves readers through the day until the final picture leaves them with a sense of pure joy, humming ``Here Comes the Bride'' right along with Nettie Jo. --Linda Boyles, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394891583
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/18/1989
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 10.83 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Award winning author Patricia McKissack comes from a family of skilled storytellers, who taught her to listen and observe and who encouraged her life-long love affair with words.  The Dark Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural was a 1993 Newbery Honor Book.  Pat also received the Coretta Scott King Award in 1993 for The Dark Thirty.  Pat wishes she could have talked to her hero, Frederick Douglass, about his rise from slavery, his daring escape, and freedom -- at last!  If she was not an author, Pat would like to be an interior designer or an architect so she could tell stories through design.

Pat frequently collaborates on books with her husband, Fredrick.  They have three sons and live in St. Louis, Missouri.  

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