Books by Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson

DON’T FORGET WINONA by Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson
Released: April 1, 2004

As drought forces a family from their farm in Oklahoma, their trip west via Route 66 is recounted in first-person voice by the older sister of Winona, a rambunctious little girl who loves to laugh, sing, and run around instead of listening to her sister, who's responsible for her. As they pack the truck, Winona hides among the cook pots and blankets and laughingly says, "Don't forget me!" This theme runs through the story, as she does get left behind at the New Mexico state line, but is retrieved by a truck driver. Later, Winona is thrilled to discover a town in Arizona with her name. Adults will recognize the historic time when Okies fled to escape the terrible dust storms, but kids will appreciate the unnamed narrator's emotions and be charmed by Winona's likable impishness. Root's familiar wispy, softly hued, blue-toned watercolors are the right match to convey the countryside, while details subtly add credence to the family's experiences. The first-hand voice brings the journey to life, personalizing the hardships the family weathers and characterizing an unforgettable little girl. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
MY MAMA SINGS by Jeanne Whitehouse Peterson
Released: May 30, 1994

``My mama sings me no new songs./We get along with used tunes,'' begins this young African-American's lyrical description of Mama's melodies. There's one for daffodil time; ``the same soft blues/her mama taught her'' for hot summer nights; Grandpa's clicking cricket song when the leaves fall; an old commercial on laundry days. Then, when ``Mama's boss...sends her away,'' Mama stops singing; but the boy makes up a comforting new song, and even though Mama's still blue she sings it back to him. Lovely as an old song, Peterson's words are beautifully extended in Speidel's richly luminous pastel art, where the boy and his mother share work, music, and a sense of their family history in perfect amity. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >