Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson and Sophie Blackall

Gia likes her life exactly the way it is: just her and her mom. She is not excited about the baby that’s coming. The baby’s going to change everything. She’ll have to share her clothes with the baby. She’ll have to share her house with the baby. Everyone wants to talk about the baby. Gia is so sick of the ding-danged baby!

I’m not trying to go for the obvious pun, but Pecan Pie Baby is just so…sweet. I think it’s perfect that the book stopped before the baby actually came, because I think an ending where Gia suddenly was happy with the baby all the time and didn’t miss her old life and they all lived happily ever after would have felt wrong. There are going to be hard times ahead, and Gia isn’t always going to be happy with the baby, and she will have to share her mom’s attention. This story, though, has a note of ‘maybe things will be alright after all’ rather than ‘everything will be perfect forever.’ Sophie Blackall is quickly becoming one of my favourite illustrators. Her humans have tremendous facial expressions and eye movements. There is so much that happens in the details. My favourite image is the small one of Gia and her mom in the corner of the page, mischievously sharing a slice of pecan pie. I also like how Gia’s room, which at first was so warm and full of fun, takes on the bare look of a prison when she’s sent to her room. Blackall's so immensely talented and this book is a great combination of author and illustrator.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and Sophie Blackall
There’s Going to be a Baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Are You Awake? by Sophie Blackall
Bye-Bye, Baby! by Richard T. Morris

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