Music holds a family together in a colorfully illustrated story about a mother, who loves to sing all kinds of songs, and her little son, who makes his mother want to sing again when things go wrong for her.
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Ages 4-8. The close bond between a boy and his single-parent mother is dramatized in a story about the music in their lives--all kinds of music, from hymns and dance records to work songs and the blues. Warm, intimate double-page-spread pastel illustrations show the African American family doing things together, whether listening to "used tunes" from the radio or hanging laundry or partying with friends. The mother always has a song. On hot, sticky nights when the boy can't get to sleep, she sings him the same soft blues her mama taught her ("low and slow, the wavery tune"). As they stamp through leaves in the fall, she "makes a clicking rhythm" in a song she learned from Grandpa when she was young. But one day there is trouble at her work. She comes home, and she has no songs. Then the boy makes up a rainbow rhyme for his mother; she hears him sing it, and later she sings it back to him. Without being cloying, the story shows how "used tunes" can connect you with a whole tradition and with someone you love. Hazel RochmanFrom Publishers Weekly:
The author of I Have a Sister--My Sister Is Deaf returns with another warm, upbeat African American family, this one composed of Mama, her son and Great-aunt Gretna, their black-and-white cat. Mama's songs glorify every season and activity, and all her songs and "sunshine chants" are "used tunes" with a family history to delight her son, the narrator here. The characters move sonorously through Speidel's lush pastel spreads, which beautifully complement the story. The full-spread art shrinks to a page when Mama loses her job and the text describes Mama staying silent in her room. As the boy makes his own supper, then waits with Great-aunt Gretna for the moon to rise, he invents a special song for Mama, "for some other night when she is fresh and new." Later that night he hears Mama sing the new song, an indication to young readers that their contributions may ease rather than increase family troubles, and that their own "tunes," used or otherwise, deserve to be heard. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1994. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060238593
Book Description Harpercollins, 1994. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060238593