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My Feet Are Laughing    by Lissette Norman & Frank Morrison order for
My Feet Are Laughing
by Lissette Norman
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

I love the title of this children's picture book, which features a series of non-rhyming poems starring eight-year-old Sadie, a Dominican-American child who lives in an inner city environment. The poems express her feelings about everything from her hair to her parents' separation to her grandma in heaven to her poetic aspirations.

The book ends as it begins: 'My name is Sadie and I live in Harlem with my mother and my little sister, Julie.'

I especially liked 'Giggle Jar,' which describes how Sadie and her sister save their giggles for when they really need them. 'Sometimes, when I'm sad, Julie brings the giggle jar for me to get some giggles and I feel better. When Mami's having a bad day, we give her some giggles too and she giggles with us. But we can have giggles anytime, even when we're not sad.'

The author is skilled at reflecting the inner thoughts and dreams of a typical eight-year-old girl. My Feet Are Laughing contains pretty heavy themes for a picture book, so I would not recommend this for children under seven or eight. The illustrations, though exaggerated, capture Sadie's emotional range and add to the overall appeal of the book.

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