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Wilhe'mina Miles: After the Stork Night Hardcover – March 31, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On the night her mother is ready to give birth, it's up to Wilhe'mina to make the trek to Mis' Hattie's and tell her that Mama needs help. As in Bye, Mis' Lela, their previous collaboration, Carter and Stevenson convey strong ties between characters against a gently nostalgic backdrop. The opening spread sets the scene with Wilhe'mina, "going on eight years old," swinging under the umbrage of a giant tree in a yard defined by a picket fence. The author describes a girl conquering her fears when Mama sends her daughter on the harrowing journey to Mis' Hattie's house: "A full yellow moon raced ahead of me. The moonbeams sprayed and pushed back the dark." When Mis' Hattie returns from her mission, she doesn't give away the secret ("Go home, Sugar Plum, and see what the stork left for you"); readers get to discover the happy news right along with Wilhe'mina and watch the heroine emerge stronger for her role in her baby brother's arrival. If the characters' faces in the illustrations are sometimes uneven, the affection that emanates between mother and daughter, and the comforting mood, exuding from the soft-colored pastels, carry any inconsistencies. Mama's acknowledgment of her daughter's newfound confidence and Stevenson's closing portrait of a transformed Wilhe'mina conclude the book on a high note. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3Told by her mother that the stork is on its way, Wilhemina runs to a neighbors house for help. Although its dark and scary and the bridge is rickety, the girl is successful. The next day, she returns home and greets her new baby brother with dismay, as if she had no clue about what was going on. Her mother explains that there really is no stork: Its just an old saying, a secret way of talking to children about a big wonderment. Its hard to fathom that a child going on eight is so uninformed. Besides this lack of credulity, the story is also weakened by its diffused focus. The plot involves not only the absence of the father, Wilheminas fear of the night, and the arrival of the baby, but theres also a fourth subtext related to her name (she used to be called Sugar Plum but now that shes a big girl Mama declares shell call her Wilhemina). The book also falls flat because of insufficient characterization. The illustrations are rich in color and design. They create a bayou environment full of lush vegetation in shimmering sunlight or moonlit blues. Mama comes across as sturdy and strong but the vacant look in Wilheminas eyes only serves to further undermine readers connection to her.Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 390L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (March 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374335516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374335519
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,129,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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