cover image Jasmine's Parlour Day

Jasmine's Parlour Day

Lynn Joseph. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11487-9

As the sun rises, it ``rounds the corner of Jasmine's house and shines through her window like it means business.'' Her mother stands in the doorway, ``balancing her big straw basket on her head like an angel with a heavy halo.'' Similarly spirited description fills Joseph's winsome tale of a day Jasmine spends with her mother at their ``wooden parlour,'' the beachside stand where they sell fresh fish and sugar cakes. Use of island dialect lends authenticity: Jasmine remarks that ``De sky blue for so. . . . Plenty people go want to come play at de beach today.'' As Jasmine and her friend visit the various other vendors (selling crab soup, coconut water, mangoes and polished conch shells), a stream of brightly colored cars brings surfers and swimmers to the beach. Dominated by electric pinks and greens, Grifalconi's ( The Village of Round and Square Houses ) energetic, large-scale illustrations make the book's tropical setting come very much alive. Once again, Joseph ( Island Christmas ; Coconut Kind of Day ) depicts an island ritual that shows the old and the new in delicate balance. Ages 4-up. (May)