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A Ride on Mother's Back: A Day of Baby Carrying around the World Hardcover – September 1, 1996

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2?This lovely book looks at how people from various countries carry their youngsters while going about their daily chores. Each double-page spread introduces a different culture from a child's point of view. Gouache paintings done in rich, deeply saturated colors appear opposite a page of simple text that explains a little bit about the people and their activities. The artwork conveys the action clearly and provides an appealing glimpse of each locale. At the end of the book, explanatory notes offer additional details. On the end papers, a map of the world shows the approximate location of the people depicted in the text. Young readers will notice the similarities among these diverse groups, not only in the ways babies are carried but also in some of the caregivers' chores. Use this book with Ann Morris's Bread, Bread, Bread (Lothrop, 1989), Edith Baer's This Is the Way We Go to School (Scholastic, 1992), Norah Dooley's Everybody Cooks Rice (Carolrhoda, 1991), or Nigel Gray's A Country Far Away (Orchard, 1989) to celebrate our multicultural world.?Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-7. As her mother makes tortillas, a Guatemalan infant is rocked in a shawl tied around her mother's body. Riding in a sling balanced on his grandfather's hip, a young boy watches his father gather honey in the rain forest of central Africa. Bernhard maintains "we can learn about a culture by finding out how its people carry their babies," but in this book, how the children are carried seems of lesser importance then what they see from their unusual vantage points. Short, simple descriptions of the daily activities going on around the infants are accompanied by colorful, primitive-style gouache paintings depicting the landscape and the dress of the people. A section of notes, with background information and interesting tidbits about each culture, is appended. Lauren Peterson
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (September 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152008705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152008703
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Kelly VINE VOICE on December 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My two year old daughter and I really enjoy this book! The illustrations are very colorful and vibrant. I love the fact that she is learning about different cultures in a fun context. We really enjoy reading this book togther and discussing the pictures and what the babies and mommies and daddies and grandparents are doing. This is a truly wonderful book that depicts babies as a sweet part of daily life - not seperate from it. This book also validates our way of life for our daughter [breastfeeding and carrying her in a sling]. Its a really nice book all the way around. I look forward to reading it for years to come.

Update 11/2010 - ten years later and we still read this book on a regular basis. I am on "baby" #6 now, who is the current "two year old" and she loves this beautiful book just as much as the first baby did - and all the babies in between. This is a timeless, wonderful book. Buy it! :)
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By waldorf_curric VINE VOICE on March 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was a little surprised to read so many reviews which focused on the baby carrying aspect of this book. Yes, in every example the child is carried by a family member. Children are woven into the fabric of our lives and this books shows that very well. But what I find most fascinating about this lovely book -- and what my daughter loves too -- is the sheer diversity of regions and lifestyles covered.

Each two page spread (one large illustration, one page of text) contains two paragraphs of detailed kid-friendly information. In just a few sentences you learn where the people live, what their climate and culture is like, and how they support their families. Although it is extremely informative, the tone is very warm and not at all dry -- your chid will not feel as though he is being subjected to a geography lesson! Many pages talk about the gathering of food and I find it fascinating to see the number of differences among us. Yet each family is tied together by the shared love of their children. It is a wonderful and reassuring message: we are different yet we are the same. Another thing I especially like about this book is that it takes place in one day -- the pages go from dawn to dark -- and you can see how the day unfolds all around the world.

The inside front and back covers of the book show a map of the world and the location of each family. The last few pages of the book also give additional information about each culture. The author and illustrator did an excellent job of demonstrating true diversity. Although we are used to seeing "multiculturalism" in the form of token comments about other regions of the world (often the same regions each time!), this book does an outstanding job.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy this book as much as my daughter does. It's refreshing to see the many ways parents around the world carry their children with them and involve them in the adults' daily activities. I also like that my daughter sees a book reflecting other cultures and grows up with more of a global sense rather than being US-centric.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful visual and written images of babies and children from many cultures being carried in wraps and slings, on backs and in arms, as families work and play together. Babywearing and breastfeeding are depicted in harmony with the family's daily life. Babies and children are shown learning from their close proximity to Mother and other family members. I get the same feeling of inner peace from this book that I receive in wearing my own babies and it is a joy to share this book with my children and others.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Megan Cooke on June 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I wish I'd had this book when I was teaching! A Ride On Mother's Back provides myriad opportunities for discussion and further reading. I was especially pleased to see a sister and even a grandfather 'wearing' their respective babies in this delightful world tour. The book presents a wide variety of cultures while providing a comforting commonality -- people everywhere loving their babies, and babies everywhere being included in community life. The book even provides a short appendix in which you'll find brief information about each culture presented (what a great way to encourage further research)and a pronunciation guide for the names of the cultures. One tiny criticism: the author doesn't provide pronunciation hints for the names of the individuals in the book. I'd like to be able to pronounce the names as accurately as possible. This book inspired my 3 1/2 yr. old daughter to look at the children's atlas that she'd been ignoring since last Christmas, and has sparked her interest in geography. Our well-loved copy is dog-eared and worn -- what better recommendation could a book have?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Those of us that love to wear baby in a sling will love this book! It is beautifully illustrated and depicts so many cultures! My 5 year old son loves it as much as my 1 year old! He is learning that people everywhere, even that are so **different** than us, are the same-- they wear their babies, and my daughter is so happy to see other babies in slings too! A great book for the babywearing family!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy Lasich on December 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are plenty of picture books that teach children about geography and culture. What makes this one different is that it focuses on an aspect of world cultures that is sadly not seen more often in the United States: babywearing. We love our strollers and car seat carriers and bouncy seats here in the U.S. But when a mother wears her baby in public in a sling or Asian carrier, she is met with a barrage of curious questions. This book teaches U.S. children that other cultures do not believe they are "spoiling" their babies by wearing them as they go about their daily lives.
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