cover image I Got Community (Hc)

I Got Community (Hc)

Melrose Cooper. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3179-9

Using the same vernacular as in I Got a Family, Cooper brings a somewhat heavier touch to these verses about the meaning of community. Several young narrators deliver various rhyming stanzas (``I got a best friend, helps me loyal./ We got a thing no fight can spoil''; ``I got a sitter, helps me safe,/ Pulls on my gloves so my hands don't chafe''). Illustrating these are Gottlieb's bright, simple paintings, rendered in gestural outlines and brushed-in areas of undiluted color, and depicting a multiracial crew. Included are the kind neighbor who ``broke a fence slat so I could fit through,'' a store clerk, a policewoman and fireman, and a librarian. Three images represent Jewish and Christian ``clergy folks'' and except for yarmulkes, Gottlieb wisely omits most religious symbols; nevertheless, the emphasis remains racial-not religious-diversity. Cooper's idiosyncratic language can be vexing and, unlike her previous work, the results seem forced. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)