Jun 16, 2011
Pecan Pie Baby
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
It's fall and Gia is going to be a big sister very soon. Her mom tells her the baby will arrive "by the time the first snow's on the ground." Gia "looked out at the falling leaves and made a silent wish for winter to come and go quickly without bringing any snow." A baby will change everything and Gia is just not ready for that. Even when mom tries to make her feel better by offering her a piece of pecan pie and telling her that the baby likes it too, just like them, Gia says that "baby's just being a copy cat!" The worst part is that the baby is all everybody seems to be thinking and talking about. They keep fussing about that "ding-dang baby." Gia can't help but think about all those years when it was just her and Mama: drinking chocolate, telling silly stories and cuddling in her Mama's bed in the early morning hours. "Now, that baby was going to change everything!" But when Mama shares with Gia that she will also miss those good old days and that together they'll have to share those memories with the new baby, Gia realizes there is love to spare...as well as more pecan pie.
Pecan Pie Baby is beautiful. The language and the illustrations are poetic and sweet. It's a perfect book to share with everybody whose family is about to get larger. For teachers, it offers good examples of showing passage of time through seasons and good openings:
Just as summer started leaving us and the leaving brought all those colors to the trees, Mama pulled out my winter clothes
An added bonus for me was the multicultural characters. Not only is the main character African American, but the classmates, family friends, and "aunts" and "uncles" are from all different racial groups. Great book to share in the classroom and at home.