Fruits: a Caribbean Counting Poem

Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books

Review

In Fruits, a girl eats and describes a variety of exotic fruit in her Caribbean dialect. While some of the rhymes may be tricky at first, pronunciation becomes clear through context, and trickier words are defined in the glossary. (For instance, ‘The smaddy who lef them really kind’ – smaddy means ‘somebody’.)

After eating all that fruit, the girl gets a stomachache, although most readers will come away hungry, wanting to try these delicious fruits themselves! 

David Axtell’s colourful and radiant illustrations appear to be painted with oil on a rough canvas that peeks through the paint. Axtell’s brushstrokes are clear, making for a rich and vibrant sense of motion and energy throughout the book: he does a remarkable job capturing the light and warmth of the Caribbean colour palette in a story that is sure to inspire drooling, as the main character counts through native fruits that may be unknown to readers from northern climes.

This book is a reprint of the original 1992 Duppy Jamboree, which won a Smarties Prize Bronze Award.

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