7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #215: Featuring Janice Nadeau

h1 April 17th, 2011 by jules


“One cool autumn morning a man called Sebastian was passing Miriam’s bakeshop when her sweet-smelling voice came floating through the window. He went inside the shop and bought some cinnamon bread. After that he bought a loaf of bread every day for a year. Then he asked Miriam if she would marry him, and she said yes.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Welcome to 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks, a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you.

I responded on a personal level to today’s featured picture book, Cinnamon Baby (Kids Can Press, February 2011) by Nicola Winstanley and illustrated by Janice Nadeau. (Wow. Check out that website for lots more art.) From a professional standpoint—as a children’s librarian, who studied children’s lit in grad school and who is always trying to separate the good children’s books from the not-so-good ones—I love it, too. It resonated with me on both of those levels, that is.

It’s the story of a baker named Miriam, who owns her own little bakery. She makes bread and makes it well: “She made a spicy bread, studded with little peppercorns and basil, and a sweet bread with ginger. She made a light, white loaf with dill, and a crusty brown one with sunflower seeds and honey.” (Mmm. See? The story had me right at the beginning.) The cinnamon bread, her favorite, she always saves for last. While baking, Miriam sings the songs her mother taught her as a child. It’s her beautiful voice and the aromas from her delicious bread that attract Sebastian one day, riding around on his bike, who asks Miriam to marry him.

Time passes. A baby is born to Miriam and Sebastian. “The child had big brown eyes and dusky skin and smelled like sweet milk.” All is well. For a while. On the fourth day, the baby starts crying and simply won’t stop. No matter what Miriam does, the baby is a scream machine, though breaks for sleeping are occasionally taken. “The baby is not sick,” the doctor tells Miriam. “I think it is simply unhappy.” But everyone is confused as to why.

One day, her sleeping baby reminds Miriam of a “little, wrinkled raisin,” and she’s struck with a good idea: Heading to the bakery in the “still-dark morning,” Miriam gets right to work, stirring, pouring, measuring, baking. The baby’s cries subside. Miriam makes just about every kind of bread she knows to make, yet it’s when the baby smells the cinnamon bread that it stops crying altogether. Everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Now. My oldest is named Miriam, though she decided to go by her middle name when she was three, and it’s a name I don’t hear often in the South. So, that right there was my first personal connection to the book. But also: She was the world’s. screamiest. baby. I could go on (and on) about this and its great challenges, and I won’t. This isn’t a parenting blog. It’s enough to say that she wasn’t ill, and she wasn’t even colicky. This kind of constant unhappiness (whose only remedy was for mama to hold her, which meant I constantly had a baby in my arms and slept with said baby, though I hadn’t planned to) is a level of confusion and mystery way beyond simple colick (which is itself not simple to begin with). It’s very difficult to describe this kind of almost-incessant screaming (though Dr. William Sears has a name for it and a whole book about it, and just him NAMING IT was so helpful that I decided years ago that if I ever meet that man I’m gonna hug his neck). So, boy howdy and howdy boy, did this tale resonate with me on those personal levels.


“But when the baby woke up, it started to cry once more. So Miriam dressed the baby, put it in the baby carriage and went for a walk.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)


“Sebastian got home later that day, and the baby was still crying. He wrapped it up in a soft blanket and walked through the chilly streets with the baby crying in his arms. The baby cried at the moon and the stars and the streetlights and the darkness. Finally the baby feel asleep, and Sebastian went home and
they both tucked in to bed beside Miriam.”

(Click to enlarge spread.)

See the showers of tears and actual flooding? Yup, the illustrator nailed it. (And in a very funny way.)

Also—and I suppose it could be argued I’m reading too much into it—I feel like Miriam’s story (the picture-book Miriam, that is) is more than just about the smell of bread making a baby’s cries subside. Having a baby is a huge—though happy—shock. The boot camp that is early parenthood is a ginormous life-changer, no matter how prepared you convince yourself you are. The mother, in particular, has to give herself up on multiple levels to this new human. It’s an adjustment. In my experience, going from full-time library’ing (and doing half a billion other things) to full-time parenthood was challenging (and was actually one reason I started blogging — that is, to engage in conversations again about children’s lit, while at home with a human being incapable of abstract thought). To me, what I found moving about this picture book was the notion that Miriam returned to the pre-baby love of her life: Her work. Her baking. Something at which she excelled. Something for which she felt passion. Maybe that joy is what made screamy baby unscreamy. Publishers Weekly wrote, “Debut author Winstanley’s simply-told fable offers a gentle message about the importance of nurturing the soul.” Yeah. True. But I’m talking about mama’s soul here, too — not just baby’s. I dunno. Food-for-thought anyway.


“Once the dough had started to rise, Miriam took it out of the mixing bowl and began to knead it. Thumping and pushing the dough to the rhythmless sound of the baby’s crying, Miriam made every kind of bread she could think of, with every herb and spice on the bakery shelf: basil, coriander, ginger and allspice, parsley, oregano, rosemary and sea salt, chili, paprika, sage and nutmeg. Finally, because she always saved it for last, Miriam made the cinnamon bread. And what do you think happened?”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Anywhoozles. Lovely book. I like it. Winstanley’s writing is a feast for your senses. Janice Nadeau, a Canadian illustrator and three-time recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Illustration, rendered the tale in watercolor, graphite pencil, and paper collage — all assembled digitally. Her palette is primarily composed of warm earth tones, and there are endearing, funny details for observant readers. (For one, Miriam’s hair looks a bit like a cinnamon bun.) Her textured, fine-lined illustrations on cream-colored paper have a real delicacy and charm. And bonus: I just found this March New York Times feature on the book.

CINNAMON BABY. Text copyright © 2011 by Nicola Winstanley. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Janice Nadeau. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Kids Can Press, Tonawanda, NY.

* * * * * * *

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1). I’m reading an ARC of this fabulous book, to be released in May from Feiwel & Friends. It’s so flippin’ good that it makes my day to read it. I hope it doesn’t go bad. So far, so good. The other day, reading it with my seven-year-old, I read “the sun hitched up her trousers and soldiered on up into the sky” and had to put the book down a moment and exclaim loudly and marvel, while my daughter waited patiently. Also, check out this excerpt below. By way of explanation, the protagonist, a girl named September, is trying to get to a land called Pandemonium but must first pass through the House Without Warning with a woman made of soap, Lye. Lye tells September she cannot get to Pandemonium “without having the road washed from you and your feet made soft and your spirit thoroughly scrubbed.” September takes three baths. Her courage, wishes, and luck are all washed. Here’s courage:

“When you are born,” the golem said softly, “your courage is new and clean. You are brave enough for anything: crawling off staircases, saying your first words without fearing that someone will think you are foolish, putting strange things in your mouth. But as you get older, your courage attracts gunk and crusty things and dirt and fear and knowing how bad things can get and what pain feels like. By the time you’re half-grown, your courage barely moves at all, it’s so grunged up with living. So every once in a while, you have to scrub it up and get the works going or else you’ll never be brave again. Unfortunately, there are not so many facilities in your world that provide the kind of services we do. So most people go around with grimy machinery, when all it would take is a bit of spit and polish to make them paladins once more, bold knights and true.”

Ah. Grunged up with living. So true.

(Here you can read 90% of the book, since it began its life as online serial installments. Thanks to John for that link.)

2). You know when you’re having a bad day or sad day or, whatever, just a murky, not-sunny day? I was reminded this week, by hitting “shuffle” on my iPod, that songs with hand claps can help those moods. I need to make a Songs With Hand Claps mix. I really do. This song below, “Heart to Tell” by The Love Language, is one. No, really. Consider listening to it, pretty please. It’s short, and it’s a perfect little pop song. That percussion’y-hand-clappy part there that you hear about thirty seconds in and then you hear one more time later? THAT JUST MAKES MY BRAIN HAPPY.

Also in this hand-clappy category is Delta Spirit’s “People C’mon,” which I can lip sync perfectly, thank you very much (except for one tiny part with mangled lyrics during which I just resort to the ‘ol “banana banana” trick). Also, it’s good for air-drummin’. (This lip-syncing of “People C’Mon” is something I’ve practiced a lot. Maybe even very subtly while walking in the park with my iPod, which maybe even made me look like a crazy person. But there’s not much that will stop me from looking like a crazy person.)

P.S. Should I email my suggestions to Paste Magazine?

P.S. Again: The Love Language’s CD is totally named “Libraries.” Score.

3). Okay. I want to word this carefully. I don’t want to sound boastful, and well…one can sound A Bit Much, I’m afraid, when going on and on about her blog. Know what I mean? At least I try not to take it all too seriously, as I’m just a tiny speck of dust in cyberspace. Anyway. More than one person told me this week that they appreciate how 7-Imp connects them with others. Illustrators with other illustrators. Authors with illustrators. Authors with authors. And, best of all, readers with books (or authors or illustrators). And, you see, this makes me so happy. I hope I don’t sound braggy? That is the highest compliment you can give 7-Imp, though, in my book. The very highest. I like connecting people. Why else blog?

4). All I can say about this Tiny Desk Concert with Otis Taylor is YES. Just YES. And also: Why can’t these musicians with banjos have concerts at my tiny desk?

5). When people stop by 7-Imp to visit and share so generously of their time and work and talents. I’ve done enough interviews and features to be able to tell those people who think that stopping by merely means they might sell one more book and and that’s THAT (meaning they answer questions rather perfunctorily and hurriedly) from those people who really and truly love to talk about the art of creating picture books and have a real reverence for the whole process and want to communicate and share their wonder with readers. Guess which I prefer, and not just ’cause blogging is a labor of love? (This post was one of the latter, no doubt, which is one of many reasons I like it so.)

6). Are you tired of me talking about Elbow? BUT THEY’RE BRILLIANT, I TELL YOU.

“Tables are for pounding here / …And we’ve love enough to light the street / Everybody’s here.” If there’s an afterlife, I hope it’s like what’s depicted in that song.

7). A chunk of really good, super fresh bread (a sourdough or Italian loaf is best) with a piece of really rich cheese (say, some good Colby) and a glass of water when you’re super big-time hungry. Throw in a few grapes. Simple foods are best. Picnic foods. Yeah, that. Picnic foods are best.

BONUS #1: We have a teeeny-tiny extension on our final manuscript deadline for our book, meaning it will now hit shelves in Spring 2013 and not Fall 2012. Which is fine. A bit more time is good, too, though I’ll be happy when the final manuscript is turned in. You’ll hear me whoopin’ and hollerin’ this summer when we do that. I bet Cris in Italy will be able to hear me. It’ll be that loud of a whoop. ‘Cause, you see, during that (probably short) span of time between turning it in and getting edited and starting to revise, etc., I’ll have time to read a bunch of novels. I’m gonna lock myself up in the house and do so, I think.

BONUS #2: Acts of kindness go a long way.

BONUS #3: Speaking of separating the good children’s books from the not-so-good ones (as I did at the beginning of this post), here’s a wonderful way to start from author/scholar/professor/blogger Philip Nel.

THE KICK YOU CAN ASSUME EXISTS EVERY WEEK: My children are healthy and happy.

What are YOUR kicks this week?





22 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #215: Featuring Janice Nadeau”

  1. Living 6 hours ahead of you, this post hit my Google inbox just as breakfast was frying. What a great accompaniment to my eggs n bacon…especially Miriam’s bakery, I could so imagine Miriam running my little boulangerie round the corner! I could smell the cinnamon way across the ocean. Thanks for an uplifting post, as always.

    Joanna


  2. Thanks, Joanna. I could use some cinnamon bread right about now.


  3. I have Cinnamon Baby in my office to read to students. Can’t wait.
    Jules and all, I missed you these past two weeks!Glad to be home.
    I am curious how you chose the name Miriam, Jules. It’s a sweet name.
    My kicks:
    Being home after vacation.
    National Poetry Month
    Student Poetry everyday
    Preparing for Babymouse Day, Matt Holm will be at school in a week
    Blooming tulips
    Teaching Poetry in classrooms
    A trip to Grand Central Bakery this morning
    Have a great week.


  4. We missed you, too, Jone. I wish I could watch you teach poetry. MATT! You all will have so much fun with him there, I’m sure. Was your vacation great? Please have a cinnamon roll for us all this morning at the Bakery.

    To answer your question about “Miriam”: I just thought it was the world’s loveliest name. And also a good name for a grown-up lady. I also thought “Miri” (short for “Miriam,” of course) was beautiful but then never really ended up using it. Not in a way that stuck. (The official nicknames for Miriam are all things like “Mims,” “Mimsy,” “Mitzi,” and “Mimi.” All things Piper is not.)


  5. Great post, great kicks today!

    My kicks:
    1. First buds on branches
    2. Two new babies for four old friends
    3. Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse
    4. Ted Hughes’s How the Whale Became
    5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
    6. More progress on my YA book
    7. This poem came from a confluence of three experiences: my five-year-old daughter used the phrase “the very undog places of the house” while searching for a favorite toy; we read Nancy Willard’s The Tale I Told Sasha at bedtime; and we visited the ancient Egyptian exhibit at The Rhode Island School of Design Museum:

    Undog Places
    By Steven Withrow

    In the very undog places of the house,
    Those uncat spots unfit for a layabout mouse,
    You find a hidden hitch that once dropped loose
    From a model switching yard—a red caboose
    That must have come uncoupled from its coach—
    And if you hope to hold it, don’t approach
    Too eagerly, or if you do, pretend
    You’re merely kneeling there snooping for a friend.

    In the very unbed places where you sleep,
    Those still unpillowed spaces where you keep
    Your treasure trove of marbles underneath
    A cardboard box that guards your baby teeth,
    What clovers you unearth on second look!
    Or tucked in a book atop another book—
    A clockwork heart—and part of you unthinks
    The thing that undid the Riddle of the Sphinx.

    ©2011 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved


  6. Hello hello! It’s been weeks and weeks (and months?) since I stopped by so I’m full of kicks. Here’s 7 of them:

    1. I turned in my big Master’s Paper that’s kind of the culmination of everything, and my advisor had the highest praise for it.

    2. The former executive director of my workplace is now a vice chancellor at a local public boarding school (yes!) and suggested that I apply for their head librarian position, which I now have – and she’s hiring supervisor.

    3. The weather here has been gorgeous a lot recently.

    4. I’ve been reading Goddess Guidebook and Leonie’s positive attitude, grace, and gratefulness are contagious.

    5. My sister has worked it out so that she can come home from the job that was 2 hours away and making her live apart from her husband – which means that, even though the way she arranged this was to pick up 2 part-time jobs that are going to make her quite busy, I might get to see her more!

    6. I decided to have fun when I’m singing, instead of treating it like a job, and it has made me so much better. Which I think pleased my voice teacher.

    7. Now that I’m done with all of the reading for my Popular Materials class, I can read whatever I want. YA novels here I come!


  7. 1. cherry blossoms
    2. cherry blossoms
    3. cherry blossoms
    4. cherry blossoms
    5. cherry blossoms
    6. poetry
    7. poetry about cherry blossoms

    thanks ever so for your #3 which I whole heatedly agree with!

    amy

    love Cinnamon Baby crying in the pram :)


  8. We are home from church today, even though it’s Palm Sunday– the girl has been sick ALL WEEK, and when Ms. WakeUpWakeUpNow says that she just wants to rest in her bed, we take note. My husband brought her breakfast in bed and she’s listening to Elizabeth Mitchell now. Does she realize how good she has it? Does she?

    I think about the people affected by the 62 tornadoes that ripped through the US South. I feel terribly for them, and selfishly just want to hide my child away in a safe place. (But hey, not even Narnia is safe.)

    Kicks:
    1. Life
    2. Gluten free popovers: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/tis-the-season-of-giving/
    3. A good idea
    4. Sunshine in a wet city
    5. Strong calves
    6. Coffee
    7. Sleep


  9. Hi, everybody!

    Jules, even sight unseen I’d love a book called Cinnamon Baby: cinnamon is one of my favorite sense-y things ever. Also way up on that scale is synesthesia, and it, too, makes it into the book at the very first: “…her sweet-smelling voice.” The illustrations — what’s depicted and how — feed right into that. (Love the heartflowery-leafy depiction of Miriam’s voice in that opening spread.)

    (Oh, and a girl in the WIP is named Miriam. She’s not onstage for long, but her influence on the story is deep.)

    That Girl Who Navigated Fairlyand… book does look a killer, and the prose crackles and sparks. And — yay! — it’s being released for the Kindle at the same time as the hardcover. (You didn’t say, but I assume that this is a book which won’t suffer TOO much from having its illustrations displayed in grayscale.)

    Handclappy music: score!

    And now I’m torn between wanting another cinnamon-raisin bagel and a big ol’ plate of picnic food.

    Kickckckcks:

    1. We had a lightning strike a couple weeks ago which killed The Missus’s PC (and some other things but not, thank gods, my own computer). She decided she wanted to replace it with a laptop, so we went through the whole Dell configurator process and they told her it would arrive this Tuesday (day after tomorrow). FedEx actually delivered it yesterday afternoon, while she was at the store, so I sort of tucked the box on the floor, to the right of the sideboard in the foyer. When she got home I said I had to show her something. “Come over here to the window.” I could feel her tension mounting, because she (as she will admit) tends to imagine disasters at every turn, and was not looking forward to this whatever-it-was. “Now,” I said, “look down. Down. And to the left. Left. Inside the window.” I felt her reaction before I saw it, and then she turned and she had these little sparklies in her eyes. Classic moment.

    2. I’ve been developing a cold since Friday. Went through the sore-throat and dry-cough phases. Things are just about to turn clogged-and-wet, as they do, but they’re not quite there yet. Today, my voice has dropped a couple of octaves. So, making lemonade out of lemons, I shall spend the day declaiming everything. Richard Burton to The Missus’s Liz: “Pahss the salllt, won’t you, you exCEPTional woman?” James Earl Jones to The Pooch, crouching over the ground: “Obi-Wan has taught you well, Luke.”

    3. Mysteries and surprises.

    4. We sometimes watch these timed-cooking competitions on FoodTV. Every single contest comes down to a last-split-second burst of activity by one or more chefs, which makes us suspicious that they’re editing to make these things more suspenseful than they really were. Anyhow, in the real world, I love insanely busy weeks of work-and-writing-and-blogging which wrap up exactly at 5pm on Friday, with nothing left hanging. I wouldn’t want every week to be like it, but it’s fun and satisfying when it happens.

    5. The city here put out a news release this week about a “Rock of Ages” concert they’re sponsoring. “An hour of upbeat and entertaining musical hits by the Beatles, Queen, Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, James Brown, Bill Haley and the Comets and many more.” The kicker: they’re holding it at the Senior Center, performed by old folks from an area assisted-living facility. That lemonade juicer’s getting a real workout this week: I’ve decided to be happy to have heard that music from the original artists, rather than grumbling in a (declamatory) I-hate-getting-old way.

    6. Florida spring mornings. (Like August spring mornings in normal climes.)

    7. Louis Armstrong.

    (Hey — not a single link in this comment. That’s a record!)


  10. Hey diddle diddle, the cat played the fiddle! Hi there, Janice! The book looks cute. :)

    Jules: The Girl Who… has a kickin’ title and a kickin’ cover, but the thing that leaves the biggest impression on me is your review here — If you’re calling it fabulous and saying it makes your day, it’s got to be awesome. Yay for connectivity, a bigger yay for health and kindness, and good luck with the deadline!

    Joanna: Enjoy your breakfast!

    Jone: Welcome back! Hope you enjoyed the vacation. You’ll have to tell us all about Matt Holm’s visit – the Babymouse series is adorable!

    Steven: I love Ancient Egypt.

    Kiba: It’s odd for me to type Kimberly when addressing you. :) Welcome back. I’m glad that you had such a wonderful week, filled with so many accomplishments. You rocked that paper, and I’m so glad that you are feeling good about that, AND work, AND singing. Yay! Yay also for your sister, and for your job application.

    Amy: Great kicklist.

    JES: Sending you healthy thoughts. Thumbs-up for sparkles.

    My kicks for the week:
    1. People all over the world donating YA books for Rock the Drop – Did you participate? Check out the pictures, videos, and posts at the readergirlz blog!
    2. Catching up
    3. Breathing
    4. Reading
    5. Planning
    6. Taking time
    7. People taking part in the Day of Silence


  11. Oh, I love cinnamon too, and baking, and this book looks so very lovely.

    Jules – I am going to email you, I have something with cinnamon that I think I need to mail your way. Love the name Miriam, I really love the older names you don’t hear as often. A friend’s daughters are Eleanor and Beatrice, and I just met an Adeline the other day. Love your kicks this week too, especially number 1 – the title alone has me hooked, plus your kids being healthy. And I am with you on acts of kindness going a long way.

    My kicks this week:

    1) A Sip & See for a friend’s second baby. I had never been to one, but love it. It’s a brunch with mimosas and other goodies where you Sip your drinks, and See the new baby.
    2) A get-together with my co-ed soccer team at the pub that sponsors us. Lots of fun meeting players’ partners/wives/bf’s etc…and just hanging out. Really great group of people.
    3) A morning run in sunshine today. We’ve had endless rain, so this is a super-huge kick!
    4) Scored some Portland Timbers tickets for a game in May!
    5) This video cracks me up, total Looney Tunes reverse psychology on this cute little boy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilQXKa3TVzM
    The original Looney Tunes cartoon:: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufSYXSK5eiA

    6) Oh! And this video is Super Cool, the dog is awesome at the end: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aBYNORgw6E
    7) The rain has been seemingly endless this winter and Thursday and Friday it was coming down in sheets all day. So the sun shining today has me grinning from ear to ear – it’s fabulous!

    Oh, and my super-duper-fantabulously unexpected kick: my 15 year old goddaughter, who now lives far away on the East Coast, loves to read. And she sent me an email this week thanking me for sending her The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. Went on about how much she loved it, how it made her think, and how it’s now one of her favorite books. Woo-hoo! Made my week!

    Off to breakfast now, but will come back and read everyone’s kicks in more detail and check out links later today.
    Have a great happy sunshine-filled week everyone!


  12. Steven, love that poem, love the very phrase “Undog Places.” And, my, you’ve done some good readin’.

    Kimberly, good luck with the job, and have fun reading whatever the hell you want. Good feeling, that.

    Amy, I’m thinking you’ve seen some cherry blossoms? (I’m a total nerd for saying that.) We lived briefly in D.C. once, and I know what you speak of. Thanks for the 7-Imp compliment, too.

    Farida, true that. About Narnia. I hope your daughter feels better soon. Man, whatever she has is just stubborn, isn’t it?

    John, nope, the illustrations in the book aren’t INTEGRAL, though I do love me some Ana-Juan artwork somethin’ fierce (what initially drew me to this book). …Kick #2 is making me hoot aloud, though I do hope you feel better soon. And I LOVE KICK #5. (My grandmother was in a kazoo band that toured other senior centers.) And I am stunned, John, that you have no links today. That is, indeed, a record.

    Little Willow, let me know what you think of the book if and when you read it. … Congrats on Rock the Drop, LW. Did I participate in any way? Nope. I am pathetically busy, trying to meet my final manuscript deadline. I’ll have to help spread the word about the next one.

    Rachel, you made me think of this book with your first paragraph. Both my daughters’ names are in there, including “Piper” (which is odd, as it’s hardly old-fashioned). I like Adeline, too. My youngest is Ada (a form of Adeline, I think), though everyone always thinks I’m saying the ever-present “Ava.” …. Never heard of a Sip & See either. Who knew? But, hey, I’ll go to anything involving mimosas “and other goodies.” Glad you’re getting some sunshine, and that is pretty great about your goddaughter. I LOVE THAT BOOK. Thanks again for the email.


  13. OK, back after a full day, and oh my, a day haunted by cinnamon…I had cinnamon on the brain so baked banana chocolate chip muffins with cinnamon and vanilla and the whole house still smells divine. : )

    Jone – glad you are back from vacation, hope it was wonderful! Hooray for tulips and Grand Central Bakery.

    Steven – love your five year old’s turn of phrase, and the poem it inspired. Makes me wonder if the undog places of the house are where the ghosts hang out.

    Kimberly – congrats on turning in your Master’s Paper!

    Amy – cherry blossoms are so very lovely.

    Farida – hope your little one gets better soon. And after all those stairs you climbed, I’ll bet your calves are unbelievably strong and can carry you anywhere.

    JES – love your kick number 1, especially the way you describe it happening.

    LW – go you for Rock the Drop! And glad to know you are taking time to breathe.

    Jules – I’ll get that little surprise in the mail this week. And that book looks awesome! I may have to get it for some friends who are expecting.

    And I love Disreputable History as well. I am always happy when the kids I love get into reading.

    Have to tell you, that Elbow song. Whew. I had it on in the background while looking at a photo album of Cheyenne. Oh my. Emotionally loaded but beautiful, the combination had me in tears.

    Have a lovely, cinnamon filled week!


  14. So glad you like the Elbow song, Rachel, and the book. I think it would be a good gift for expectant mothers, come to think of it.

    I’m also glad the post inspired cinnamon in your day. Cinnamon makes most things better, don’t you think?


  15. This is a BEAUTIFUL book – lots of expectant mamas in my life right now, and I can’t wait to start gifting it!

    Also, re: connecting people, I have a little story to tell you: I was at the Texas Library Association conference this week, and while browsing the exhibit floor, I came across a copy of Susy Lee’s Mirror, which I delightedly showed to the friend who was with me. The woman staffing the booth remarked that Mirror NEVER gets picked up usually, and wondered what had inspired us – I told her I read about it on your blog and LOVED Susy Lee as a result. She even took a picture of us reading the book to send to the publisher! Just another connection you’ve inspired – so thank you :)


  16. Emily, I love being a Suzy Lee evangelist! She’s one of the best. Thanks for sharing the story.


  17. Thank you so much for your beautiful review of my book, and all the lovely comments that follow.

    I wanted especially to thank you because you totally GOT IT! Yes, it’s really about the mother’s soul . . .

    I too had a screaming baby, and no sleep for TWO years. I discovered I had to nurture myself, otherwise I had nothing left for my beautiful little girl.

    I’m so fortunate to have had Janice as my illustrator. What a gorgeous feast she makes the book!

    I am so thrilled to be introduced to your blog; I look forward to following it.

    Many kind wishes,
    Nicola Winstanley


  18. Hi, Nicola! What a pleasure to hear from you. Yes, those of us with the non-stop screaming babies could start a club, huh? Immediate entry when a mother with That Crazed Look in her eye is spotted by one of us!

    I really do enjoy the book, and—as so many have pointed out here (and which I hadn’t thought of myself)—it’s a great gift for new mamas.


  19. I can almost smell the cinnamon in this yummy, warm, and beautifully illustrated story. Thanks again for keeping me aware of the new wonders out there!


  20. I have read ‘The Girl Who…’ in its entirety when Catherynne used to publish new chapters every Monday. It’s FABULOUS! I even made a donation because I felt the book and the author deserves it. I’m glad to know it’s finally being published in hard copy. :)


  21. Cool. I wrote a tweet about this post. Good work.


  22. Outstanding post, I believe blog owners should acquire a lot from this weblog its really user pleasant. So much fantastic information on here :D .


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