cover image Father and Son

Father and Son

Denize Lauture. Philomel Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21867-5

This warm, lyrical picture book about the joys of shared moments marks an auspicious debut for author and artist. Lauture's text sways with the same sort of unhurried, contented rhythms reflected in the accompanying vignettes of Gullah life in South Carolina's low country. Father and son work together, walk together, play together and worship together--intimately connected all the while, much as their shadows connect in the sun. The cumulative forcefulness of the spare text--never more than 15 words to a page--is balanced by the thick, broad strokes and strong, unmuddied hues of Green's oils. The scenes pictured include details particular to the African American experience in this locale (sweet-potato huts, a gospel church), some of which are explained in a prefatory note. At the same time, they focus on form and composition rather than individual features or expression, so that they also suggest the overarching universality of the father-son bond. Ages 4-up. (Jan.)