978-0-374-35103-8 / 9780374351038

My Baby


Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)



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About the book:

All day long Nakunte watches her mother dip her painting stick ("CLICK- CLICK") in and out of the mud paint as she paints the bglan cloth. As she grows older, Nakunte begins practicing her mother's craft, and the villagers come to her for their special cloth for weddings, new babies, and journeys to the Promised Land. Nakunte marries, and when she finds she is pregnant, she starts a bglan for her own baby, taking her inspiration from the animals and landscape around her. "The leopard's spots hide her. Listen, my baby, do you hear her footsteps in the bush?" Nakunte paints a checkerboard pattern resembling the leopard's markings. "The creek is so dry. After the rains come, my baby, you will hear the water. But who has left those fish bones?" A fish-bone pattern surrounds the cloth.

Jeanette Winter, in her story about the textile technique practiced for centuries by women of Mali, frames each page in the pattern described by the expectant mother. The bright background colors, and those worn by the men and women of the village, contrast with the traditional black and white of the bglan cloth for a vibrant visual experience. Winter's soothing, rhythmic words seem to echo the clicking of the painting stick in this love story for a baby. Her other highly acclaimed picture books include Follow the Drinking Gourd and My Name Is Georgia. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

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