The Hula-Hoopin' Queen
By Kirkus Reviews
A lively intergenerational picture book that will send readers out to the sidewalk for a hoopin’ good time. When Kameeka gets the hula-hoopin’ itch, her fingers snap, her feet tap, and her hips swing. She feels “the itch” coming on one afternoon, and she gets ready to step outside to compete against her hoopin’ archrival, Jamara. Mama, however, has other plans, as she prepares the house for Miz Adeline’s party, a grandmotherly neighbor who took care of both Kameeka and Mama as children. When Mama sends Kameeka on an emergency run to the grocery store for ingredients to replace the fallen double-fudge chocolate cake, Kameeka takes a detour that lasts much longer than it should. But hoop she must to save her reputation in the neighborhood. Godin’s lively language paired with Brantley-Newton’s colorful collage illustrations of children from many different backgrounds give readers a realistic view of this diverse and close-knit urban community. The pictures that hang on the walls of Kameeka’s house—of Ruby Bridges and a brown-skinned, cap-and-gown-wearing graduate—hint at the importance of both education and African-American history in this family. The elderly Miz Adeline validates Kameeka’s love of the hula hoop when she demonstrate through her own hoopin’ moves that some forms of play remain timeless. A fine incentive to motivate couch potatoes young and old to move.