CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006
As the mother of a 14-month-old in March 2000, I was in extreme awe of the strength, perseverance and emotional fortitude displayed by this woman who could seek sanctuary in a tree for four days during a flood and then give birth, while caring for other family members. Obviously I was not the only person awestruck by this story. Jane Jolly, Australian and first time author, has taken the details of this story and produced an exquisitely poetic version for our youngest readers/listeners.
Jolly's language is powerful yet sympathetic and lyrical; her treatment of the subject is tender and honest. In few words, the emotions of the characters are compellingly conveyed, and the setting of the swelling Limpopo is transfixing.
The artistry of Dee Huxley, a celebrated Australian illustrator, is a perfect marriage for Jolly's text. Her pastel and coloured pencil illustrations fill the page, and the vibrant colours and beautiful faces demand our attention and draw us deeper into the plight of our characters.
Initially, I wondered at the word “lullaby” in the title, but realized, after consulting the definition of lullaby, the text is almost melodic and has a comforting lulling style. Our daughters loved the book and demanded it be read several times on our first look at it.
Limpopo Lullaby is a great book for all libraries: historically, artistically, and for entertainment.
Ruth Scales McMahon is a professional children's librarian, the co-chair of the Rocky Mountain Book Award and the mother of two young children.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.