The Hula Hoopin’ Queenby Thelma Lynne Godin (Author), Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Illustrator)
Kameeka has been practicing. She knows that that evening she is going to beat her neighborhood rival Jamara. Everyone on the block will finally agree that Kameeka is the new Hula Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street! But mama reminds her that today is Miz Adeline’s birthday. Miz Adeline has cared for Kameeka since she was a baby. Mama wants the evening to be very special. And Kameeka needs to finish a lot of chores before the birthday party.
Kameeka and her mother set out to prepare for the birthday party. Kameeka sees the day pass her by. Eagerly, she finishes her chores. She sets the oven for baking Miz Adeline’s favorite chocolate strawberry cake. But disaster strikes when mama pulls the cake out. Kameeka set the over too low! The cake is flat!
Kameeka rushes to the grocery. They will have to bake another cake. But just as she is leaving, Kameeka grabs he hula hoop. Outside on the corner of 139th street, Jamara is hula hoopin. She calls out to Kameeka. And that’s when it happens!
Kameeka feels the itch. The hula hoopin’ itch
“My fingers start snappin’ and my feet start tappin’.
My hips start tappin. My hips start swingin’ and I just know that I’m gonna beat Jamara today.”
Soon the girls are hoopin’ away! Obviously, Kameeka has completely forgotten about her little errand to the store.
This is a heartwarming story about a close knit community and kinship. Godin paints a rich story with clever lively language. Effortlessly, Godin brings together themes of healthy competition and putting one’s own wishes aside for other’s happiness. Newton’s colorful collages completes the picture with paintings of busy streets, stores and curbside scenes.
Full of character and spunk, this book has a wonderful ending. Find out who really is the “Hula Hoopin’ Queen” of 139th street!