A contemporary fable about a magical remedy for a baby who won't stop crying. Miriam is a baker whose bread is full of smells to make your nose twitch and tastes to make your tongue tingle. Miriam's own favorite cinnamon bread so delights Sebastian, a musician who enters her shop, that he buys it every day for a year and then asks her to marry him. After a baby is born to the happy couple, all is blissful until their bundle of joy begins crying. And crying. Only when the two are almost at wit's end does Miriam ...
A contemporary fable about a magical remedy for a baby who won't stop crying. Miriam is a baker whose bread is full of smells to make your nose twitch and tastes to make your tongue tingle. Miriam's own favorite cinnamon bread so delights Sebastian, a musician who enters her shop, that he buys it every day for a year and then asks her to marry him. After a baby is born to the happy couple, all is blissful until their bundle of joy begins crying. And crying. Only when the two are almost at wit's end does Miriam suddenly know, looking down at her baby curled up like a little raisin, exactly what she must do. A celebration of the bond between mother and child and an ode to the power of our senses, each delectable word and image of this beautifully told and illustrated story will be savored.
At the Alchemy Bakery, titian-haired Miriam sings as she makes delicious breads with many different flavors and ingredients, though her favorite is cinnamon bread. Drawn to Miriam's voice and the smell of her breads, a man with coffee-colored skin buys bread from Miriam every day for a year, and then proposes to her. Before long, Miriam and Sebastian have a beautiful baby who has "big brown eyes and dusky skin and smelled like sweet milk." Only, the baby won't stop crying: "The baby cried at the sky. It cried at the flowers. It cried at the sunshine and the wind in the trees and at everyone who passed." Even the doctor is stumped. But when Miriam breathes in the sleeping baby's scent, she finally understands what will make the child happy—and Miriam, too. Nadeau (Harvey) has gentle fun with the baby's waterworks in her whimsical mixed-media collages (in one spread, buildings bob up and down in a sea seemingly created from the tears erupting from the baby's old-fashioned pram). Debut author Winstanley's simply-told fable offers a gentle message about the importance of nurturing the soul. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
- Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Miriam is a baker of wonderful breads, "...to make your tongue tingle." Singing as she works, she loves making all her breads, but her favorite is cinnamon bread, which she saves for last. One day Sebastian passes by, buys cinnamon bread, and finally asks Miriam to marry him. She does, and soon they are expecting a baby. On the fourth day after the baby is born, it begins to cry. After crying for twelve hours it naps, then cries again. No one can understand why. Finally Miriam takes the baby to the bakery, where she mixes and makes every kind of bread. When she finally bakes the cinnamon bread, the smell fills the bakery and the baby stops crying and smiles. So Miriam makes it every day and the baby is finally happy. This low-key tale is made attractive by the light-hearted, slightly comic illustrations. Watercolors add a somewhat naturalistic look to delicate pencil line drawings of characters and objects. Paper collage shapes are added and assembled digitally. The double pages clearly present the all-too-common crying baby problem in a charming fashion. Never mentioned are the apparent contrasting colors of Miriam and Sebastian that produce the biracial cinnamon colored baby. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Every day, Miriam rides her bicycle to the bakery where she makes a variety of delicious breads, always saving her favorite-a sweet cinnamon loaf-for last. One day, a violinist named Sebastian comes by on his bike. Attracted by Miriam's singing, he purchases a loaf of cinnamon bread and makes it a daily habit until they marry a year later. A baby soon follows, but after three days, the child starts to cry. After trying all the usual methods to calm an infant, Miriam finally takes the baby to the bakery where she begins to make her cinnamon bread. The fragrant smell and the sound of Mother crooning finally comfort the child, who never cries again. This charming story features a Caucasian mother, a brown-skinned father, and a biracial baby. The cream-colored paper, adorned with graphite pencil sketches, earth-toned watercolors, and paper collage, gives the story an old-fashioned look. Swirling hearts, flowers, and music notes indicate Miriam and Sebastian's happiness, while torrents of rain depict the unhappy baby's tears. Children able to appreciate the quaint plot and drawings will enjoy this cozy story.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
One of the book's charms is what's left unsaid: The interracial coupling is a romance that needs no sociological picking apart. And when the baby starts crying soon after birth, his ailment is never named…Nadeau, a three-time winner of Canada's prestigious Governor General's Award for Illustration, turns the power of a mother's love into about as delicious a story as you could want when the subject is unhappy babies.
—The New York Times
Nicola Winstanley has always loved to write; but it wasn't until her daughter was born that she started writing stories for children. Nicola considers herself lucky because she gets to read children's books all the time ? it's the best part of the day for her. She's also lucky because she gets to read fledgling writers, as she teaches writing to students at Humber College in Toronto.
Janice Nadeau studied graphic design and illustration at the Université du Québec ? Montréal and at the ?cole supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg (France). She likes to explore different applications of her medium, whether it's illustrating books or designing textile. Janice is a three-time recipient of the Governor General's Award for Illustration, Canada's most prestigious literary prize.