Gr 2-5-Hope, a biracial child, returns from her self-titled debut (Carolrhoda, 1998) to visit her country relatives with a surprise contribution to the large extended family's feast-peppermint pickles (recipe included). Her narrative is simple, yet sprinkled with meaningful descriptions and homespun expressions. The story is full of events that could happen at any gathering: children lose interest in their games when it's time to churn ice cream; one boy insists on playing his trumpet; another delivers a humorous blessing at mealtime. The paintings are impressionistic (often the texture of the canvas shows) and full of color. The illustrations excel at showing emotions; often, Hope looks as if she is dancing because she is so happy. The highlight is a two-page spread showing the family at dinner. The child's surprise may sound odd to some readers, but since the story is about accepting the tastes of others, it is appropriate. A good choice to pair with Cynthia Rylant's The Relatives Came (Bradbury, 1985) or Elizabeth Howard's Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) (Clarion, 1991).-Thomas Pitchford, Rosenthal Elementary, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.