Papa Tells Chita A Story

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9780027446234: Papa Tells Chita A Story

When Papa tells a story about a brave soldier with a secret message, Chita happily joins in the telling, enjoying the time with her father in a celebration of family and the tradition of the tall tale.

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From Booklist:

Ages 4^-6. What a treat for readers--a chance to renew their acquaintance with Chita, last seen in Chita's Christmas Tree (1989). Here, Chita sits on her father's lap as he tells the story of his experiences in the Spanish-American War. Part truth, part tall tale, Papa's story begins when he volunteers to carry a secret message through the swamps, beating off snakes, alligators, even a bird of prey. Chita, the little African American child growing up in turn-of-the-century Baltimore, is based on Howard's cousin; the incidents of the book also are based on fact. In an author's note that will interest adults, Howard amplifies the story as she explains how black citizens bravely served in the Spanish-American War, though "fighting for their country did not lead to glory." Cooper's softly focused paintings, rendered in oil wash on board, are a nice fit with the tall-tale aspects of the story. Chita may have grown up long ago, but the love and fun between father and daughter transcends the decades. Ilene Cooper

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 2?After the supper dishes are washed and put away, Chita sits with her father and helps him reminisce about his army days. During the Spanish-American War, Papa delivered a secret message to the troops across the island of Cuba, through the dangers of snakes, alligators, predatory birds, thorns, and brambles. As they recount the events, each peril grows to monstrous proportions in Chita's imagination and Cooper's darkling images, but the message is delivered and Papa earned a medal to prove it. Oil-wash illustrations seem to arise from a smoky past and evoke action scenes of derring-do and quick thinking. Teachers who are encouraging student writing will enjoy this model of a common theme in family stories?"what Daddy (or mayhap Mommy) did in the war." Students will likewise enjoy this engaging tall tale for what it is, and perhaps retell some of their own family stories.?Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Published by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (1995)
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