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The Calypso Alphabet

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the seductive colors and rhythms of Caribbean island life, this alphabet book offers children a window on a neighboring culture that is rich with tradition. Agard weaves the region's exotic and often unfamiliar words and phrases ( Anancy , kaiso , doh-doh ) into a joyously poetic text that begs to be read aloud. Unfortunately, ``zombie'' is included for the letter Z and could possibly scare younger children. There's a helpful map on the back cover and notes that give further information on each word used. The warm tropical hues of Bent's earthy scratchboard-and-ink illustrations provide an exuberant counterpoint to the text. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- A picture-book introduction to the Caribbean, with full-page drawings in watercolor ink and scratchboard to illustrate phrases featuring characteristic words from the islands. The phrases are frequently contrived to rhyme in sets of three in a row. The art is primitive in style and perspective, with flat figures and black outlines. Faces are simply sketched or obscured. Although the pictures are not detailed, occasional margin illustrations show okra, roti (flat bread), sugar cane, ugli fruit, and yam. The predominant colors are green, black, and purple, with occasional vibrant orange, giving an overall impression of cheerful simplicity and immediacy. Those familiar with the West Indies will be enchanted by the sense of home that the pictures and words evoke. Although some words, such as jook, giddy-up, and eh-eh are universally known, others, such as doh-doh and kaiso are better known in certain areas. Some practices and proverbs are also of particular localities, and there are no notes to explain where a word or custom is prevalent . Notes do give general information on 17 of the words used. With the dearth of books on the Caribbean, especially for younger children, this will be a welcome addition. --Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805011777
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1989
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years

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