Fruits: A Caribbean Counting Poem

Title: Valerie Bloom
Author: Fruits: A Caribbean Counting Poem
Pages: 32
Genre: Poetry
Ages: 3 and up
Publisher: Henry Holth & Co (J) (March 1997)
ISBN: 978-0805051711

PreSchool-Grade 2. A mischievous counting poem that mimics the cadence and rhythm of the Jamaican language, Patwa, and introduces children to some familiar and exotic tropical fruits. An older sister stealthily sneaks fruits from obvious and hidden places throughout the house and around the yard. Little sister tags along hoping to enjoy a few tasty pieces. The phonetically spelled text is printed on the left-hand side of the book above an illustration of the featured fruit (half of a pawpaw, one guinep, two guava). The number of pieces of fruit is stated, but the numerical symbol is not presented. On the opposite page, Axtell's colorful, full-page paintings capture the warm, sun-splashed colors of the tropics. The expressionistic, oil-on-canvas-board art emphasizes the poem's tone. Big sister's expression of stomach pain at the end of the book will not surprise most readers. Understanding the dialect may be difficult for youngsters, but adults who can read it aloud can share a humorous, childlike poem with their audience.?

- Reviewed by School Library Journal, Marie Wright, University Library, Indianapolis

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