Market Day

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
Market Day Book Poster Image
Presents folk art to young kids.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing objectionable in this busy, collaged book.

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What's the story?

South American wooden fish and fruit, clay jalopies and carts, papier-mache, vegetables, folk figurines, and pounded tin stars fill the pages of this bright, rhyming story about market day. The folk art photographed for the illustrations is fascinating, but its complexity may confuse young readers.


Is it any good?

Lois Ehlert used her own collection of folk art to accompany her lovely rhyming text about going to market. The first scene of a wooden Guatemalan rooster and chickens appliqued on a Colombian cloth field is charming. Unfortunately, too many of the scenes feel crammed with art, and even the balanced pages present a visual dilemma for children. Because the illustrations are photographs of authentic but unrelated folk objects, nothing is in proportion to each other.

MARKET DAY makes an important contribution by presenting folk art to young children. The explanation of origins and materials used, however, probably will fascinate grown-ups more than kids. Children will be disappointed by the lack of main characters, unless they notice the four repeating clay Mexican figurines, which often are hard to find.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the book's diverse artwork. Talk about a few pieces that interest you. Where are they from? How are they made? How could you find out more about them?

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