Isabell Monk, Author, Janice Lee Porter, Illustrator FAMILYIsabell Monk

The star of Hope returns for a sequel, which again revolves around her ethnicity as the child of a white father and an African-American mother. Hope and her parents gather with members of her mother's extended family at Aunt Poogee's farm for their annual summer reunion. Into the relative- and food-filled house, Hope carries a box holding her contribution to the feast: pickles. "That's different. But come to think of it, so are you," a cousin comments. As she offers a rundown of the various dishes on the table, Monk emphasizes the fact that each comes from a family recipe (e.g., "Aunt Frances had brought her family recipe corn pudding"). When Hope serves her pickles (she has inserted a peppermint stick into each), she announces that a cousin "on my papa's side" taught her how to make the dessert. This prompts Aunt Poogee to advise the girl later, "Sharing food is a good way of sharing family…. Always add a cup of tradition from your papa's family to a cup from your mama's side." Five recipes—including one for the pickles—appear at the end. Featuring broad strokes and a warm palette, Porter's softly focused, stylized paintings help convey the family's energy and camaraderie. Though the characters remain rather sketchy, the tale may well feed worthwhile dialogue about bringing families together. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-57505-917-4
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