Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5 Little Shorties

5 Little Shorties refers to a group of 6-and-7-year-olds who, according to author and illustrator Buist E. Hardison, represent different personalities, skin colors, and hairstyles among African American children. Each one is unique in his/her own way. The text begins:

Five little Shorties all in a row
like beautiful flowers, how sweet they grow!
Five little Shroties,
Watch them jump!
Watch them spin!
Full of daddy’s hugs and momma’s kisses,
watch them chase the wind.

Then each Shortie - Dee, Zee, Nze, Eze, and Tee – is described in turn. Little Shortie Dee is described first. Her description reads in part:

Little Shortie Dee never feels lost;
she knows God is always there.
Little Shortie Dee knows from the way
her momma braids her hair.

The book ends with each Shortie saying goodnight. The last line reads: “Shortie Nze says good night, God. Thanks for watching over our sleep.”

The illustrations are bold with a cartoon-like quality, sure to appeal to the younger set.

What I Like: This book was written for an African-American audience.

What I Dislike: This isn’t really what I would call a storybook. Rather, it’s more a collection of short descriptions about each individual Shortie.

And, as you can see, the text is written in rhyme, making the narrative a bit jarring in places.

Overall Rating: However, having said all that, I still give it a good rating as it has some good qualities, that being each Shortie has a unique way to acknowledge his/her connection to God.

Age Appeal: 4-8.

Publisher Info: Abingdon, 2007; ISBN: 0687641500; Paperback, $4.95.

Buy at $4.95.
Special Info: This book was written specifically for African-American children.

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