Block Party Today! By Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Stephanie Roth (2004, Random House).
Last fall, many of us were busy promoting Robert's Snow, and the wonderful snowflakes created by children's book illustrators that were auctioned off to raise money for cancer research. As well as donating their time for snowflake making, many of these great illustrators offered prizes to folks reading the snowflake posts. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Block Party Today! from Stephanie Roth, and now I don't have to worry about reading 123 YA books for the Cybils (see below), I'm happy to have a chance to say Thanks! And what a neat book!
Block Party Today! is about (surprise) a block party, in a multicultural urban place pretty far removed from where my kids live (a New England mill village). They were most interested in the street scenes, the different people, and the whole concept of closing off a street for a party. Roth's illustrations are great-colorful and detailed, interesting without being overwhelming. This is more than just a description of the party, though--Lola is mad at her friends Yasmin and Sue, and plans to stay in her room all day. She can't help but come down to her front steps, and she and Yasmin and Sue forget their quarrel in the fun of fire hydrant play. And the block party ends happily, with friendship triumphant. Just what a block party is supposed to do!
Thanks, Stephanie,for the book, and for making your snowflake (a really charming one, featuring Two Christmas Mice, which you can see here at the blog Writing with a Broken Tusk).