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Blue Bowl Down: An Appalachian Rhyme Hardcover – April 12, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Library Binding edition (April 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763618179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763618179
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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 Lullaby (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 Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angela O. Dephouse on August 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed to read the review by the School Library Journal. This book passes down timeless traditions: baking bread, mothers teaching and caring for their children, bedtime rituals. The lilting lullaby narration is not to be taken literally. The mother in the story, like many of us, talks to her young son as she works. She sings of lighting the lantern, little baby, and stoking the fire, little baby. Your pre-schooler may not learn how to bake bread by reading this book, but it opens the door for conversation about why we sift flour and how yeast works. I think it's a great book. I read to my 3-yr-old and 10-month-old day and night, and this is a favorite!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karla Cunningham on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 22-month old daughter has enjoyed this book for months and we are constantly checking it out of the library. We are finally buying our own copy! The illustrations are lovely and the writing is very lyrical. There are plenty of objects to point to (and have your child identify) to build his/her vocabulary and the active features of the text encourage acting out various facets of the story such as "walking" the water, patting the bread, finding the kittens and baby's belly button, etc. I highly recommend this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on November 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first read this book to our 2-year-old, I wasn't optimistic that she would ever like it and didn't care much for it, myself. However, after a few months we read it again and it is now her favorite book. We read it every night. The illustrations are soft yet sophisticated, and the repetition of the lines is soothing to her, I think. Anyway if our daughter is the judge (and she is), this one merits the top score.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lientje on August 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Both text and illustrations give a feel for a different time and place.
I have never been to Appalachians, but I feel as though I would know the
place and the people through this little book. My grandchild also loves
to have this read to her. It seems particularly comforting to her.

I don't understand the School Library Journal Review. However, I have
noticed in the past that sometimes they take on a crankiness that just
simply is not justified. I think that this is one of those times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By kate on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful story, lilting and comforting, about taking the blue bowl down to make bread. An Appalachian rhyme.....read it to my grandson and he loves it. Old fashioned, comforting book.
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