Rata-Pata-Scata-Fata: A Caribbean Story

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Little Brown & Co (Juv), 04/01/1994, Hardcover, Acceptable condition. Acceptable dust jacket. Former Library book.

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Meade, Holly 1994 Hard cover Good in very good dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. Audience: Children/juvenile. Nice condition; fun reading; ex-library; dust jacket ... in mylar cover. Read more Show Less

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1994-04-01 Hardcover Good Hardcover with dustjacket.

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Holly Meade Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1994 Hardcover First Edition First Printing Very Good+/Very Good+ 4to-over 9?"-12" 0-316-30470-0 Ex-Library with Usual Markings.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With their soft edges and tropical colors, Meade's ( This Is the Hat ) torn-paper collages are a joyous accompaniment to this tall tale from the Caribbean. As Gershator explains in a prefatory note, rata-pata-scata-fata ``is an old-time Virgin Islands way of talking nonsense.'' For confirmed daydreamer Junjun, however, the phrase is an incantation to be invoked whenever his chores seem too oppressive. The magic syllables seem to make all Junjun's wishes come true: he finds a fine fish without going to market, he catches the family's goat without lifting a finger and a big wind shakes a basketful of ripe tamarinds out of their tree. In the end, even Junjun's skeptical mother tries out the phrase and calls up a rainstorm to fill the empty rain barrel. Readers can decide for themselves whether Junjun simply benefits from a string of fortunate coincidences or whether his words have the power he imagines, but most will agree that there is magic in Meade's art. Her luscious palette, dynamic compositions and expertly shifting perspectives beguile the viewer. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Little Junjun likes to sit outside his island home, dreaming and chanting a magic nonsense word to help pass the time while doing his chores. Maybe the chores will get done by themselves. Bright collage art sets off this Caribbean tale of Junjun, his daily life with his mother, and the magical mystery of his good luck. This is a fun read aloud. A glossary of terms is included.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A gentle book that moves at a gentle pace. Set in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it tells the story of Junjun, a little boy who wants to help his mother, but who doesn't really want to exert any effort in the process. Instead, he invokes the nonsense phrase, ``rata-pata-scata-fata'' to accomplish several tasks she sets before him: getting a fish for dinner, finding a lost goat, and collecting a bucket of tamarinds. Lastly, she asks him to fill the rain barrel. Junjun lies on the ground, repeats the words several times, and the chores are completed. Of course, no magic is really involved, only coincidence-or is it? Readers cannot be certain. Unfortunately, the text is overly long and drags in places. The strongest drawing card here is the setting, which is captured in the charming watercolor illustrations done in warm pastels.-Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
Julie Corsaro
A gentle and affectionate tale set in the Caribbean. When his mother asks him to go to market to buy a fresh pot fish for supper, daydreamer Junjun wishes one would just appear. He closes his eyes, says "rata pata scata fata" three times. Opening them, he spies a fish that's fallen from a passerby's basket lying on the road. The pattern is repeated when Mother tells Junjun to find the goat the goat finds him and to pick the tamarinds a strong wind blows, and the tamarinds "pick" themselves. The text is simple and direct, with engaging sound effects and repetition. The torn paper collages in bright tropical hues and filled with island ambience rhythmically echo the text. A most satisfying end is provided as Mother, skeptical but tired enough to try, sings the "magic words" and is saved a trip for water by a much needed downpour. Delightful in its own right, this title also provides an unobtrusive introduction to the lush flora and fauna of the Virgin Islands. Includes an informative author's note.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316304702
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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