Smoky Night

Eve Bunting, Author, David Diaz, Illustrator
Eve Bunting, Author, David Diaz, Illustrator Harcourt Children's Books $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-269954-3
Reviewed on: 03/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Paperback - 36 pages - 978-0-15-201884-9
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-15-201035-5
Hardcover - 978-0-15-201541-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-16515-0
Prebound-Other - 1 pages - 978-0-606-16516-7
Prebound-Glued - 1 pages - 978-0-613-18279-9
Hardcover - 978-986-7942-18-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-0095-3
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Bunting addresses urban violence in this thought-provoking and visually exciting picture book inspired by the Los Angeles riots. Although they're neighbors, Daniel's cat and Mrs. Kim's cat don't get along. Nor do Daniel and his mother shop at Mrs. Kim's market. ``It's better if we buy from our own people,'' Daniel's mother says. But when Daniel's apartment building goes up in flames, all of the neighbors (including the cats) learn the value of bridging differences. Bunting does not explicitly connect her message about racism with the riots in her story's background, but her work is thoroughly believable and taut, steering clear of the maudlin or didactic. Diaz's dazzling mixed-media collages superimpose bold acrylic illustrations on photographs of carefully arranged backgrounds that feature a wide array of symbolic materials--from scraps of paper and shards of broken glass to spilled rice and plastic dry-cleaner bags. Interestingly, Diaz doesn't strongly differentiate the presumably Asian American Mrs. Kim from the African American characters--even the artwork here cautions the reader against assumptions about race. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)
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