MY BABY by Jeanette Winter
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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There's a beautiful pattern and rhythm in the sound and sense of this story, whose images echo the music of its language. In Mali, women make the bògòlan, a mud-dyed cloth, and a young girl named Nakunte Diarra learns the art from her mother. As she grows up, the whole village comes to her for cloth, and when she marries, she wears the bògòlan her mother made for her. Nakunte then begins to make a bògòlan for her own child, and she is inspired by the patterns in what is around her. "Listen, my baby, do you hear the drums that call?" she says, painting an abstract pattern of drum forms in cloth stripes. The leopard's spots, the scorpion's tail, the calabash flower, the turtledove's footprints, each creates a pattern that Nakunte paints into her cloth, speaking to her baby about the creatures she sees. The bògòlan is done when the rains come—the time for the baby—and the child is wrapped in the gorgeous black-and-white cloth. Winter uses colors as luscious as tropical fruit setting off the contrast of the shimmering bògòlan. The flattened picture space dances with shape and form: dots, leaves, triangles, stripes. Winter, as she did in My Name Is Georgia, uses a real artist's work as the basis for a visual feast. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 9th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-35103-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2001


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