PreS-Gr 2-Young Jasmine accompanies her mother to sell fish and sugar cakes at a ``parlour,'' a market stand near the beach at Maracas Bay in Trinidad. Before the beachgoers arrive and the workday begins, the girl visits her friends at the other stands, and then returns to help her mother. Joseph's lighthearted story is written in a modified dialect and captures the sights and sounds of island life. The narrative is vivid and flowing, relying on humor rather than suspense to hold readers' attention. Jasmine, for instance, arranges the fish in size order, as is done in school, but with the smallest one in back, for ``she never liked being a little fish in front.'' Grifalconi's watercolors are bold, bright, and sun dappled, but have a hurried, unfinished look. Nonetheless, this entertaining story will make a successful read-aloud.-Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY
Like Joseph's "Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems" (1990), this is a celebratory picture of island life in Trinidad. Parlour Day is market day at the beach. Jasmine and her mother carry their fresh fish and sugar cakes to their wooden parlour stall and set up for the day. Then, with her best friend, Jasmine visits the other stalls to see who's there and what they're selling: shark 'n' bake at one stall; spicy mango chutney and poulari balls at another; huge conch shells here; guavas, soursops, and mangoes there. The language is lively, with occasional lilting dialogue ("De sky blue for so. . . . Plenty people go want to come play at de beach today"). Grifalconi's double-page spreads, sundrenched watercolors in brilliant shades of pink and green, capture the tropical-island landscape, the liveliness and diversity of the marketplace, and also the individual faces of mother and daughter. Not really a story, but a vital scene of one child and her community.