Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Review: No Mush Today

by Sally Derby, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell. Lee & Low, 2008. Review copy. Nonie is a little girl who is tired of eating cornmeal mush every day for breakfast. She is also fed up with her little brother's crying and getting all the attention. Fortunately her grandmother's house is just around the corner. Grandma calls her "Sweet Pea" and takes her to church. After church the congregation heads to the park for a picnic. Nonie goes boating with her father and enjoys the swings. By the time they come home to Mama and baby brother Nonie is happy again and ready to share her favorite toy duck.

My three sons have all benefited from having their grandparents living close to us. There have been many times when a visit over to Grammie and Grampa's house have been the magic ticket to needed extra TLC. As soon as I saw No Mush Today! I knew it would become a family favorite. There is just nothing like Grandparent's love!

Jama pointed out in her review that the little ducky is carried with Nonie on every page of the story and acts as a transitional object holding Nonie's family affections. By the end of the story she is cheerfully sharing ducky with her baby brother, just as the adults in her family have shared their attention and affection with her.

The story is told simply, with language and details that young children will delight in and instantly connect with. The illustrations are beautiful and emotive. Tadgill has recently been profiled on Lori Calabrese's blog and on The Brown Bookshelf. Be sure to scroll down to the end of the page at Lori Calabrese's blog to see a widget that scrolls photographs of Tadgill at work in her studio. At the publisher's site you can click on links for coloring book pages to print and a booktalk with Tadgill. If you live in the Worcester, MA area you can catch an art exhibit of Tadgill's work in this book at the Quinsigamond Community College: Administration Building between Feb. 3 and March 7, 2009. Great opportunity!


jama said...

Ooh! Thanks for this review and linking to Lori's interview. Loved learning more about Nicole :)!

Cloudscome said...

jama I really enjoyed your review too. You made some very insightful comments. Thanks for stopping by here!

Sally Derby said...

Thank you so much for the lovely review! When I was growing up my great-grandmother was one of the most important people in my life, and now as a great-grandma myself, I wrote No Mush Today in the hope that others would think about the strength of an extended family. I'm so glad you did, and I'm delighted to hear that you are sharing the book with your family. Incidentally, I saw the picture of Whiskers. If you ever have a chance to read my book Taiko on a Windy Night, you'll see that Taiko (a real cat) looks a lot like Whiskers. I'd like to send you a picture, but I don't know how to do it on this. Thank you again;you have given me a much-needed lift. Best, Sally Derby

Cloudscome said...

Ms. Derby - I looked up Taiko on a Windy Night at your website and I agree- they could be twins! I will have to get that book for my boys. They'll be delighted. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We love your books!

Nicole Tadgell said...

Wow, thanks!! This is a lovely review!I really appreciate hearing that people (especially kids!) are enjoying the book