Grades K - 2
Grade level Equivalent: 2.1
Lexile® Measure: 410L
Guided Reading: K
- Outdoor Play and Games
- African American
- Understanding Self and Others
About This Book
Jamaica doesn't understand why her older brother, Ossie, won't let her shoot baskets with him and his friends. Even when she shows them how good she is, they won't let her play! So Jamaica goes off to build a sandcastle in the playground by herself. When a toddler comes over and tries to help her, she tells him not to; he's just getting in the way. "Berto," the woman pushing the stroller said, "leave this girl alone. Big kids don't like to be bothered by little kids."
Jamaica, a thoughtful, likable girl who readers will remember from the Reading Rainbow book Jamaica's Find, hears her own brother's comments echoed in the mother's words. She thinks of how much it hurts her feelings when she's not allowed to play with the big kids, and she invites little Berto to help, showing him how they can work together. The resulting sandcastle is so impressive that even big brother Ossie wants to join the fun, and generous Jamaica doesn't mind if he does.
Juanita Havill tells a simple story that's sure to resonate with younger siblings and older ones alike. As in Jamaica's first adventure, warm watercolors by Anne Sibley O'Brien give a realistic depiction of the little girl, her family, and their multiethnic urban neighborhood.