Bravo, Maurice!

Rebecca Bond, Author, Rebecca Bond, Illustrator Megan Tingley Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-10545-3
Bond (Just Like a Baby) returns to themes of home and hearth in this tale of intergenerational family love, individuality and the gifts that make each one of us unique. From the time Maurice is a newborn, all the Marcelas imagine he'll grow up to be just like them. Papa sees his large hands and predicts Maurice will be a baker just like him. Uncle Eddie notices that his toes ""tap and twiddle just like mine,"" and thinks he'll be a taxi driver just like him. As Maurice grows, they all share their worlds with him, from bakery and taxicab to Mama's office and Grandmother's greenhouse. All the while, Maurice is developing a talent all his own, one that the whole family can appreciate (""Bravo, Maurice!"" they cheer on a final spread). Bond's beautifully descriptive prose, from the ""crisp clipping of pruning shears"" in the greenhouse to the ""rasping ring of a whisk circling the sides of a metal bowl"" at the bakery, softens the edges of the big-city setting, as do her splendid acrylics. Brimming with cozy details, her scenes are decked in warm shades of orange, red and yellow judiciously balanced with blues and greens. Readers will wish that they, too, lived in a snug city apartment with the busy and affectionate Marcela family. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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