HATTIE AND THE WILD WAVES

A STORY FROM BROOKLYN

A story that, like Cooney's Miss Rumphuis (1982) and Island Boy (1988), presents the life of an idiosyncratic character in the context of a historical setting. Hattie's parents, German immigrants, are already wealthy; Papa, who is "in the woodwork business," has built a beautiful house with gleaming paneling in every room. There are servants, a summer "cottage" at Far Rockaway, and—as time goes on—ever more luxurious surroundings. Quietly undeterred by affluence, Hattie makes a good friend of the cook's granddaughter and, as an inveterate artist who has always been inspired by the sea, grows up to enroll in art school—not "just like Opa" (her mother's father, a painter) but, as Hattie says, "Just like me." Hattie's Papa, like Cooney's grandfather, builds a fine Brooklyn hotel where the family later lives. This engaging piece of fictionalized family history is graced with Cooney's usual fine illustrations, with fluent, perfectly balanced compositions, delectable, lucid color, and nifty authentic detail. A disarming portrait that makes clear that wealth is incidental to a happy, creative life.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 0-670-83056-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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100TH DAY WORRIES

1882

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82979-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999

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KEVIN AND HIS DAD

There is something profoundly elemental going on in Smalls’s book: the capturing of a moment of unmediated joy. It’s not melodramatic, but just a Saturday in which an African-American father and son immerse themselves in each other’s company when the woman of the house is away. Putting first things first, they tidy up the house, with an unheralded sense of purpose motivating their actions: “Then we clean, clean, clean the windows,/wipe, wipe, wash them right./My dad shines in the windows’ light.” When their work is done, they head for the park for some batting practice, then to the movies where the boy gets to choose between films. After a snack, they work their way homeward, racing each other, doing a dance step or two, then “Dad takes my hand and slows down./I understand, and we slow down./It’s a long, long walk./We have a quiet talk and smile.” Smalls treats the material without pretense, leaving it guileless and thus accessible to readers. Hays’s artwork is wistful and idyllic, just as this day is for one small boy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-79899-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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