Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

pecan-pie-babyCindy: Change is hard for everyone, especially the change that a new baby brings to a family. In Pecan Pie Baby (Penguin/G.P. Putnam, 2010), Woodson captures the dread a young girl has of the impending arrival of that “ding-dang baby” who will alter her relationship with her mother. While friends and family talk endlessly about the new baby, the soon-to-be big sister is resenting what she sees as a threat to her close relationship with her mother. The mother’s sure love, calming assurance and firm discipline when needed paints a picture as heartwarming and soothing as Sophie Blackall’s ink and watercolor illustrations. When Gia is sent to her room the perspective changes to an overhead shot that makes her seem as small and alone as she feels in a holiday-filled house of baby-obsessed company. This is as satisfying to share with a child as the pecan pie that momma, Gia, and the unborn baby crave.

Lynn: This book had me from the title! I’m right there with Gia and her mom in their preference for pecan pie.  And no one could resist that cover. I especially love the honesty in this book. Gia doesn’t want to share her mom or anything else with this ding-dang baby but that’s all anyone wants to talk about!  Small readers will really connect with Gia’s uncertainty and resentment.

Upstairs I got that teary, choky feeling. And even though there were a whole lot of people in my house, I felt real, real,

real alone.

Woodson does a wonderful job of acknowledging the changes to come for Gia while still being reassuring. Sophie Blackall’s illustrations are terrific too, as Cindy says, adding homey details and a lovely warmth to the story, showing us how much Gia is loved. Perfect for readers whose families are about to increase and also those who just wonder what that would be like.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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