copy: A little boy is eager to show his baby sister all the wonderful
things in his world--feeding the hen, milking the cow, and cuddling up
with the puppy. And Momma is always there with just the right answer
for each question the day brings. Lilting rhymes in an engaging
question-and-answer format join with heart-warming illustrations to
capture a growing child's curiosity about the world around him and a
mother's tireless love.
Behind the scenes: In the early drafts of this story, there was
only one child - a toddler or baby, along with a 'voice' encouraging Momma
to show her baby all the fascinating things in her world. The line Yes,
or no, or maybe was an important part of the story for me, as I
felt it let the young reader/listener know that there could be various
answers to any question. And I liked the cadence of the line.
But that ending word maybe posed a problem when my editor wanted
the child in the story to be older and not a baby at all. The
problem was that there was no other perfect rhyming word for maybe
other than baby. I stubbornly hung on to that Yes, or no, or
maybe line, refusing to let it go. The solution came when I saw a
young mother with two children. That was it! We just needed to
give Momma another child. Voila!
School Library Journal
"Momma, will you milk the cow?/Yes or no or maybe?/We would like some sweet milk now./Milk for me and
baby." As a young boy asks questions, he, his baby sister, and their mother spend a day exploring their farm. They feed the hen, ride a dappled horse, take a bath, and share kisses with a puppy. The mother's answers–either yes, no, or maybe–are presented in reassuring refrains that echo her son's queries. Chaconas's language evokes warmth and comfort, resulting in a story that begs to be read to children while they are snuggled in a loved one's lap. Featuring warm colors and realistic-looking characters, the large, expressive illustrations enhance the cozy mood of the text. Full-page paintings of the family are paired with white silhouettes of the featured farm animals set against textured backgrounds. As the day ends, the baby is sleeping in a crib and the mother is gently tucking the boy into bed. The room is lit from behind by the golden glow of a lamp on a nightstand. This affectionate, satisfying book will be asked for again and
again.–Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information
Center, Berwyn, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lilting rhyme presented in questions and answers between a mother and son enables a little boy to explain to his baby sister all the wonderful things to see and do on a farm: feeding the hen, milking the cow, cuddling the puppy. The boy's question appears on the recto page; turn the page for Momma's wise response. "Momma," asks the boy, "will you wash the pig? / Yes or no or maybe? / In the tub! He's not too big. / Wash him with our baby." Momma replies: "Yes, we'll wash the little pig, / but not in baby's tub! / First, we'll wash our baby's cheeks / And give your knees a scrub." The oil paintings, from the familiar team, display sweetly faced characters and are filled with tenderness that carries through the day until bedtime. They aptly illustrate a quiet, gentle story that embraces mother-son-daughter bonding, an appreciation for nature and farm life, and a child's curiosity.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved