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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*****In English, of Course

by Josephine Nobisso

illustrated by Dasha Zibrova

Reviewed July 7, 2003.
Gingerbread House, Westhampton Beach, New York, 2002.  36 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E NOB).
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #4, New Picture Books

Here’s a wonderful picture book about a girl who’s come to the United States from Naples, Italy.  On her first day of class, the teacher asks the class to tell about their lives “in English, of course.”

Josephine doesn’t know the words to describe the big city of Naples.  The teacher asks if she lived on a farm.  She has been on a farm once, and the teacher prompts her with the words she needs to tell a hilarious story of being pushed into a river by a cow.

As I live in Germany and don’t think I could tell such a story in German, I was delighted with the way Josephine acted out the story and searched for the right words to tell it.

The pictures in this book are absolutely delightful!  The artist uses scraps of photographs along with an exuberant cartoon style to marvelously depict Josephine searching for words, acting out the story, and the pictures she conveys to her listeners.

Besides being an entertaining story in itself, this book helps its readers sympathize with the plight of someone trying to communicate in a new language.  A magnificent book!

Reviews of other books by Josephine Nobisso:
The Weight of a Mass
Show; Don't Tell!

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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