• Title: The Candystore Man
  • Author: Kevin O'Malley, Jonathan London, Malcolm Brown
  • Released: 1998-08-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 24
  • ISBN: 0688132421
  • ISBN13: 978-0688132422
  • ASIN: 0688132421
From Publishers Weekly Sammy Davis Jr. may have made it chic to be a Candyman, but this book's doo-wopping sugar-slinger doesn't live up to the reputation. Unfortunately, London (Hip Cat) and O'Malley (Cinder Edna) present their man as a "hip hop daddy-o" with a baseball cap and a saxophone, a cliche of coolness rather than the real thing. Most of the action takes place at a soda fountain, where the hero serves sundaes and chocolate kisses to crowds of delighted children. A few Beat-era details dot the illustrations (e.g., a "Charlie 'Bird' Parker Dead at Age 35" headline), although these don't jibe with all the hip-hop references in the text: "Wax lips and peppermint sticks?/ you takes your pick," rhymes the narrator, a boy who mops the shop and flashes a corny thumbs-up while his main man plays pinball. The Candystore Man is indubitably generous; he gives free milkshakes to the high school football team and takes a blind boy to a basketball game ("and he be-bops words/ in the blind boy's ears/ about how two players/ fell on their rears"). Yet the character's Pied Piper persona, conveyed by London's jivey lingo and O'Malley's insistently jolly caricatures, wears thin fast. Sappy rapping and syrupy nostalgia make this confection far too sweet. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal PreSchool-Grade 2-"The Candystore Man/likes to be-bop words/to the rhythm/that's in him." He's a central person in his 1950's neighborhood, where he entertains his customers by serving up ice cream and candy with flair. He does magic tricks, treats the winning Bayonne High football team to milkshakes, dances, bangs on garbage cans, and helps a blind boy "see" a basketball game. "Oh, he's hip, he's hot,/you'd like him a lot./He hums jazz tunes/and plays the spoons,/singin', Do-wop a loop/bip-bop-shawak." The illustrations, in oil paint and colored pencil, show the Candystore Man with a gray goatee, baseball cap, store apron, and red sneakers. He is in constant motion-singing, cheering, and playing his saxophone for an appreciative multiracial crowd. Preschoolers and primary-grade children would probably enjoy the rhymes and jazzlike beat, but the character descriptions will have limited appeal for them.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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