Jamal's Busy Day
Written By Wade Hudson
Illustrated By George Ford
Jamal, a handsome, energetic African-American boy, is shown making all the necessary preparations for school that his parents make to begin their day. The upbeat message is that both parents and child can work and accomplish much in their respective areas, all have something to contribute.
Reading Level: Ages 3-7; Paperback: 32 Pages
The charm of this unassuming, engaging picture book rests in the tongue-in-cheek parallels between the daily labors of parents and offspring. The youngster here is an African American only child; the adults are active, serious professionals--father is an architect, mother an accountant. In its own way, Jamal's day is as demanding as theirs: he "works with numbers" in math class, does "research" in the library, has "meetings to attend" in the school auditorium and occasionally settles schoolyard "disagreements between my co-workers." The upbeat message is that both parents and children can "work hard" and accomplish much in their respective arenas: all have something to contribute and all work has value. Illustrating this sweetly didactic story are Ford's (Bright Eyes, Brown Skin) realistic watercolors, which present a boy full of energy and excited by his truly "busy day." Publishers Weekly
Jamal, a handsome, energetic African-American boy, is shown making all the necessary preparations for school that his parents make to begin their day. After washing, brushing his teeth, and dressing himself, he has breakfast with his father and mother, an architect and an accountant. Using one or two sentences per page, Jamal compares his ``work'' to that of each of his parents: making drawings, working with numbers, doing reports, taking a crowded bus home, etc. He is beautifully portrayed as an empowered child in the appealing drawings that reinforce the success motif throughout. This early reader is a real winner. School Library Journal