We Keep a Store

Anne Shelby, Author, John Ward, Illustrator Orchard Books (NY) $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-531-05856-5
In a small rural town, a black family keeps a general store. ``My mother figures out what to order from the big grocery company,'' says the bright-eyed girl who narrates the text. Her father opens boxes, she stacks cans on shelves and all three wait on customers who come not only to buy things but to visit: the men whittle cedar, the women peel apples, the children play games. Although not presented in typical storybook fashion--the characters are not developed, nor is there a plot--the warmth and steadfastness of the country folk are richly defined by Ward's sunlit acrylic paintings. Like Peter Catalanotto's artwork in Cynthia Rylant's Soda Jerk , Ward's illustrations are static; they focus on the lined faces, skillful hands and loving relationships fostered by the community portrayed. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-531-08456-4
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