Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Mush Today



No Mush Today by Sally Derby, illustrated Nicole Tadgell, Lee & Low, 2008

I have to say, in the intrest of full disclosure, that I love cornmeal mush. It was always a treat as a child to have fried mush on a Saturday morning. Yumm...dipped in honey...

With a new baby crying in her mother's arms, a little girls announces "Not gonna eat my mush, Not gonna eat it." She runs next door to her Grandma's and announces she is going to live with her.

Her patient grandma takes her to church and then to the church family picnic where she lets her daddy take her on a boat ride and push her in the swings. They watch a family of ducks and he reminds her that "Ducklings stay with their families."

Every child imagines running away from home. This little girl only has to run next door to her grandmother's and the illustration shows her daddy leaning out of the window, watching her the whole time.

The adults wisely, give her some room and time to vent her feelings, always reinforcing their love for her. In the end they even let her have the last word, as she asks her mother to promise that there will be no mush for breakfast the next day.

Illustrator Nicole Tadgell lets the love glow on their faces and adds an extra element to the pictures as the little girl keeps a toy duckling with her at all times.

What a loving and reassuring message to parents and children in this little book.

Further ponders about the illustrations:

The family is always pictured with the little girl. She is never alone in a picture even though she is trying to put herself apart from family. What a reassuring visual message, your family is always with you.
I also loved the toy duck that she always has with her in every picture, "ducklings stick with their families."
Tadgell brought the story to life from the detail of the child's cable knit sweater to the joy on her face as she sails high in the swing.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Great review. We love this book!