Sunday Shopping

By The Horn Book

Every Sunday night at bedtime, Evie—the young African American narrator of this cozy family story—goes “Sunday shopping” with her grandmother. Browsing product and store advertisements in the newspaper, the two pretend they are actually visiting the stores; they discuss everything they are “buying,” and how they will enjoy each item: “‘Now it’s your turn,’ I tell Grandma, and she shows me a fluffy rug. ‘Mmmm, mmmm! Winter mornings, with a thick rug to step down on, feet won’t mind getting up. What color you want, Evie?’” Strickland’s bright, breezy acrylic, watercolor, wax pencil, and digital collage-style illustrations blend realistic portraiture with creative flights of fancy to evoke this weekly ritual, making manifest Evie and Grandma’s vivid storytelling in ways that will speak to young readers’ imaginations (for instance, Grandma squeezing a life-size bottle of mustard over a sliced-bread floor). Sharper emotions underlie the story—worry for Evie’s mother, away in the armed forces; awareness of constrained finances—but the detailed familiarity of the relationship and joy Evie and Grandma take in each other’s company adds a reassuring veneer. Notable for its honoring of tradition and aspiration; matter-of-fact, loving treatment of a custodial grandparent; and energetic illustrations that will inspire creative imitators.