Review of Stevie

by John Steptoe
Harper    24 pp.    $3.50

A poignant story of childhood told in the first person and illustrated with paintings which have been compared to the work of Rouault. Stevie lives with Robert’s family for five days a week because his mother works; and Robert senses keenly the nuisance of having the smaller boy around. “Sometimes people get on your nerves and they don’t mean it or nothin’ but they just bother you. Why I gotta put up with him? My momma only had one kid. I used to have a lot of fun before old stupid came to live with us.” But when “old crybaby” moves away, Robert discovers that he truly misses him. The setting of the book is a black neighborhood and the language is the kind that many black children use. But by being so evocative of place the author-artist adds richness and beauty to a very simple yet universal little story. SIDNEY D. LONG

From the December 1969 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Horn Book
Horn Book

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