Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
By Clifton L. Taulbert, illustrations by E. B. Lewis Dial Books for Young Readers (Hardcover, $16.99, ISBN: 0803725582, 9/2002) (Kindergarten-Grade 2) Little Cliff loves to look at maps and hear about places far away from his small, rural Mississippi town. His imagination is especially captured by his teacher’s description of the Arctic. He begs his great-grandfather to take him there so that he can see the snow houses, the children riding on sleds pulled by dogs, and people fishing in the ice. Poppa Joe explains that the few inches on a map can represent a great distance, shows him a book about the Arctic, and takes him to visit Mr. Jacob, who shows him photographs of his long-ago trip to Alaska. The next day, Poppa takes him to the one cold place in town-an icehouse. He puts several live fish in a bucket and gives Little Cliff a string and hook. “Now you can fish, jest like them boys in Alaska,” he says. “And you’ll be able to tell yore teacher that yore Poppa took you to the cold place after all.” The warm intergenerational relationships and the encouragement of intellectual curiosity and imagination are engaging. The ending is humorously satisfying with Poppa’s clever solution to the boy’s desire to go ice fishing. Lewis’s fresh watercolor illustrations are especially effective in evoking the loving relationship between the dignified African-American Poppa Joe and his great grandson. This sequel to the earlier “Little Cliff” titles stands well on its own. —Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.