From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–A toddler and his mother make bread together in a blue bowl as their evening activity. The sense of place is seen through Meade's evocative watercolor-and-collage illustrations, not through Millen's text–"Light the lantern, little baby./Light the lantern, little baby./Strike the match upon the stove." It is clear that the house is rural, has a wood stove and no running water or electricity, but the process of making bread will remain a mystery to young listeners. What does come through in the lullaby rhyme and charming artwork are the joy and delicious rewards of working together. Cynthia Rylant's When I Was Young in the Mountains
(Dutton, 1982) or Appalachia
(Harcourt, 1991) have richer Appalachian cadences. For a celebration of bread making, taste David and Phillis Gershator's Bread Is for Eating
(Holt, 1995).–Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME
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*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 1. Cozy as a cabin warmed by a wood-burning stove, this lullaby was inspired, as Millen explains in an endnote, by the evening bread-making ritual that was traditional in more rustic times. Meade, who won the Caldecott Honor for Hush! A Thai Lull
aby (1996), interprets Millen's soothing text ("Shake the flour, little baby. Scoop a handful from the bin. / Shake it out and stir it in.") with appealing cut-paper artwork of a mother guiding her rosy-cheeked toddler through the steps of the process--hauling water from the well, mixing the dough, kneading it, and setting it to rise. Though sometimes Millen's syntax may leave readers unfamiliar with Appalachian dialects fumbling to catch the rhythm, the wholesome comforts of hearth and home evoked by text and art are universal: "Sleep you kindly, little baby. Sleep you kindly, little baby. Dream the rising of the bread." The only thing missing is that inimitable aroma--but, perhaps, not for long, as this will have families inaugurating bread-baking rituals of their own. Endpapers reminiscent of blue-and-white speckled graniteware are the perfect finishing touch. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved