Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 1-Anna, the youngest sibling in a large Jamaican family, desperately wants to keep up with her older siblings as they make the daily trek to carry water back from the spring to their home. Her brothers and sisters are all capable of carrying large containers of water on their heads, while she has only has an empty coffee can and cannot balance it on her head. Senior quietly weaves her tale, showing the Jamaica countryside, the flag, and dasheen leaves without being intrusive. In fact, no mention of Jamaica or the Caribbean is made in the lyrical text. Staccato sentences punctuate the verse, highlighting the importance of water to everyday life: "Water for cooking and drinking./Water for washing dishes./Washing faces./Cleaning teeth." As Anna struggles to overcome her jealousy and unsubstantiated fear of the cows in the field, she is finally able to develop the inner strength needed. James's vibrant paintings will capture readers' eyes as they pore over minutiae, such as a fly on the kitchen table or brilliantly colored butterflies and birds in the fields. Little details-some of the children being barefoot, dirty dishes in the sink-will enable children to realize those in other parts of the world aren't as dissimilar as they might believe.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Anna, the youngest in a large family, desperately wants to carry her coffee can of water on her head. She doesn't yet have this skill that all her siblings have mastered. Why, Karen can even read while she carries a water container on her head, a detail noted in the exuberant paintings accompanying the simple text, ideal for reading aloud. There is another problem. Anna is afraid of the cows in Mr. Johnson's field, near the spring. One day, when she is trailing way behind the others, Anna just starts running away from her bovine enemies (very peaceful creatures, as depicted in the illustrations). Her whole family comes to find her, and they all witness a grand sight: Anna running with her full can on her head and not spilling a single drop! James, of Antiguan background, allows her bold acrylic paintings in tropical colors to sprawl across wide double-page spreads of lush Caribbean landscapes. The hummingbirds and butterflies add a bit of whimsy to Anna's cover portrait. While not mentioned in the text, the Jamaican flag is seen on the wall of a country store, and the author was born there. When water easily comes out of a faucet, young readers rarely think about the difficult chore of carrying water, but they will empathize with Anna's desire to reach an important milestone. (Picture book. 4-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.