cover image Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel

Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel

Irene Smalls-Hector, Arene Smalls-Hector, Tyrone Geter. Little Brown and Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-79871-6

Irene is a spunky African-American girl who ``gets her own self up'' one morning in New York's Harlem. The sunny Saturday stretches out before her, and she fills it up with the ordinary pleasures of a child's life: a hot drop biscuit, visits with neighbors, a singing game with a friend, planting seeds in a makeshift window box. When Irene finds a nickel in the gutter, she and her friends Lulabelle and Lulamae make a beeline for Miss Susie's West Indian Bakery: ``We would like to buy the biggest raisin bun you have.'' Settling down with her friends for a curbside feast, ``Irene was feeling seven and in heaven.'' Though they do little to evoke the 1957 setting, Geter's warm paintings impart a homey feeling that complements the nostalgic text. With its richly textured language, this debut picture book is a good choice for family sharing. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)