cover image I Love My Family

I Love My Family

Wade Hudson. Cartwheel Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-45763-7

Stiffly narrated by a boy of indeterminate age (uneven illustrations make him look, on various pages, anywhere from seven to 12 years old), this thin story describes the annual reunion of several generations of a large African American family. Hudson first introduces members of the family, and goes on to chronicle the activities they take part in during the gathering: ``We go swimming. We play ball. We pick peaches. We sing. And we dance.'' Finally, readers view the portraits that a photographer takes of the extended family. Unfortunately, the story lacks sufficient animation to hold the attention of youngsters. And often the words and pictures are out of sync: the reunion takes place on Grandpa Lawrence's North Carolina farm, which looks more like a contemporary suburban home; and Great Aunt Nell looks 30 years younger than her alleged age, ``almost one hundred years.'' Ages 3-7. (May)