It's August in Minnesota. The cornstalks have grown taller than the cars, and the plums are ripe for the picking. For Jackie, a city kid on a visit to his three aunts' farm, the simple task of making plum jam becomes an adventure when they meet up with a not-too-friendly farmer who isn't eager to part with his plums...
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K-Gr. 2. Stewig relates a tale from his youth, when he stayed with his mother's three aunts for a week every summer. Their eccentricities are revealed and farm life is celebrated through a crisp narrative and appealing illustrations. After the chores are done, the young boy wishes they could make jam, but all of the berries are overripe or not quite ready. Off he and the aunts go for plums, which this year must be "borrowed" from the neighboring farm. They drive over in the old Ford coupe, and the new owner yells them off the property, but not before they get enough plums to make jars of jam lining the table "like fat purple soldiers on parade." The boy feels bad about the theft and makes a peace offering in the night. This evocative picture book offers a fond reminiscence of another era. O'Malley's colorful, expressive illustrations add plenty of humor and flavor to the setting. A recipe for plum jam is included on the book jacket. Kathy Broderick
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Grade 2-4-Jackie is excited about his upcoming annual visit to his mother's eccentric, elderly aunts. Once there he doesn't mind the kerosene lamps and he ignores the fact that the three women have an ancient car and that Aunt Alice is a very slow, very bad driver. But he is shocked when the aunts raid the orchard of Farmer Wilson to steal plums. Caught by the farmer, the four barely escape. Jackie enjoys making jam from the stolen fruit but he also has a plan for defusing their neighbor's anger. During the night, he sneaks several jars of the finished product over to his house with a note. A few days later the aunts are surprised to find a whole basket of fresh plums on their front porch. The text is full of down-home sweetness and the aunts are drawn with an affection that won't be lost on readers. The quirky, colorful full-page and spot-art illustrations are a perfect match for the story. A summertime treat.
Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Disney-Hyperion. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0786804602. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1061256
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