by Karen Lynn Williams

Other authorsCatherine Stock (Illustrator)
Paper Book, 1994


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New York : Clarion Books, c1994.


After selling oranges in the market, a Haitian mother and daughter have enough money to ride the tap-tap, a truck that picks up passengers and lets them off when they bang on the side of the vehicle.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member lquilter
Great story about an 8yo Haitian girl who is embarking on new responsibilities with her mama: carrying oranges to market, being in charge of selling the oranges, and getting money for a treat and having to decide how to spend it. Lovely sweet story, with lots of possibilities for discussion --
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money, class, public transit, different ways of making money. They didn't have enough money for a ride at first so they had to walk; then they earned enough money to pay for a ride on the way home. Sasifi got her first new hat, so an opportunity to discuss with first world or middle-class kids who have had lots of hats why the difference between them and Sasifi? Beautiful illustrations with lots of people, so a lot for kids to observe. And, a little puzzle: What is a tap-tap? Then, why is a truck called a tap-tap? I really liked this one.

The one thing to pay attention to is that all the characters are gendered and described by their gender -- women selling A, men selling B. Women doing C, men doing D. So, it can be useful if used to discuss how in some cultures things can be divided by gender. But if left unmentioned, it could serve to reify gender difference.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Now eight years old, Sasifi is finally of an age when she can help her mother, carrying and selling their oranges at market! As they set out, early one morning, she asks if they can take a ride in a tap-tap - the brightly painted trucks that serve as buses in Haiti, so named because passengers tap
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on the side, when they are ready to disembark. Her mother explains that there is no money for such luxuries, but when all their oranges sell at the market, partly owing to Sasifi's hard work, and she is given a reward, she knows what she wants...

Tap-Tap is an engaging story that draws the reader into the world of rural Haiti, offering a gentle, non-didactic depiction of a child's life in the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Although that poverty is evident throughout - Sasifi and her mother cannot usually afford to take the tap-tap, and Sasifi is excited to be given her very first brand-new hat - it is not the focal point of Williams' narrative, which concentrates instead on the joys of a new experience. Children will identify with Sasifi's longing for a treat, rejoice at the eventual satisfaction of that longing, and enjoy the tale of the (crowded) ride.

Catherine Stock, who also collaborated with Karen Lynn Williams on Painted Dreams (another picture-book set in Haiti), captures the colors of Sasifi's world, and her exuberant enjoyment of that world, in her lovely watercolor illustrations. Highly recommended to anyone looking for good picture-books set in Haiti!
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Original publication date


Physical description

34 p.; 23 cm


0395656176 / 9780395656174


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