It Began with Lemonade

Dial. May 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780735228283.
K-Gr 2–Hang in there. The smiling lemons on the initial end papers hint that something great is about to happen. And if “it began with lemonade,” and the day is warm, and there is no room for a small girl’s lemonade stand on any of her neighborhood corners, readers may begin to suspect that larger schemes are afoot. She pushes, then chases, her stand across fields and down hills. “So when at last I reached the river, I was ready to cry. I sat for a long while, feeling terrible as a turnip.” The next part of her river adventure arrives in the form of a thirsty fisherman, whose worms look far too happy to ever be on a hook, and our heroine, with brown skin and a big heart, is ready with her ice cold wares. Children will rejoice at Sterer’s blissful text, introducing customer after customer, while Cho’s illustrations fill the pages, offering up octopus babies, otters in hats, beavers doing the backstroke, dancing bunnies, clacking crabs, and more, all of whom exhibit a thirst that will not be slaked. Steamboats, tugboats, skiffs, and submarines line up for miles, and like every good proprietor, the child stays open as long as she can, then rumbles home to dream of the next day’s business.
VERDICT With pages to pore over, this essential purchase will leave readers thirsty, exhilarated, and full of plans of their own.

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