In My Momma's Kitchen

( 1 )

Overview

From Talking Pots Day, when the aunts all gather to make the biggest pot of soup in town, to gathering round Gran Lee's stove on a cold winter afternoon, to serenades and stories late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep, "seems like everything good that happens in my house happens in my momma's kitchen." A celebration of African-American families and mommas everywhere, In My Momma's Kitchen tells the story of a year's events in everybody's favorite room.

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Overview

From Talking Pots Day, when the aunts all gather to make the biggest pot of soup in town, to gathering round Gran Lee's stove on a cold winter afternoon, to serenades and stories late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep, "seems like everything good that happens in my house happens in my momma's kitchen." A celebration of African-American families and mommas everywhere, In My Momma's Kitchen tells the story of a year's events in everybody's favorite room.

From Talking Pots Day, when the aunts all gather to make the biggest pot of soup in town, to serenades and stories late at night, when the rest of the world is asleep, "seems like everything good that happens in my house happens in my momma's kitchen." A celebration of African-American life and the bonds that unite all families, generation after generation.

A child describes the family events, like making apple butter and having relatives visit, that center around Momma's kitchen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Seems like everything good that happens in my house happens in my momma's kitchen," begins the young narrator of this cozy picture-book collection of vignettes, set, appropriately, in the kitchen. There the girl's older sister, Nadene, announces she's won a scholarship to college; her aunts gather to cook and chat on "Talking Pots Day"; and Daddy sings "La Cucaracha" and does the cha-cha as he makes corn pudding. Employing her talent for comfortably paced storytelling and evocative description, Nolen (Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm) uses one- to three-page scenarios to evoke the rhythms and rituals of a close-knit, dynamic African-American family. Whether describing "Gran Lee," the old hand-me-down stove Momma would never part with, or a curious pet cat, Nolen's subtle details add color and depth to the proceedings. Bootman's (Oh, No, Toto!) softly lit, realistic oil portraits match the text's warm mood, capturing many tender moments between the narrator and her relatives. Art and text work together to transport readers to a place where abundant love and sweet memories are staples of daily fare. Ages 5-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Barbara Youngblood
Various scenes that have taken place in the kitchen of this loving family are the subject matter of a series of vignettes. The youngest daughter of the family remembers Great-aunt Caroline's visits, her aunts making their giant kettles of soup, a humorous crab apple jelly disaster, and the corn pudding that was her father's specialty. Nolen offers good examples of committing to writing, those special events of our everyday lives. The illustrations by Bootman are realistic and very touching.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-"Seems like everything good that happens in my house happens in my momma's kitchen." So begins the narrator of this book, an unnamed girl. Following are eight short vignettes that detail the various activities that take place in the heart of this loving African-American family's home. As Momma and her sisters gather to make the biggest pot of soup in town, Great-aunt Caroline celebrates her 95th birthday, and the whole family ends up in the kitchen raiding the refrigerator and listening to Daddy's stories. An especially pleasing tale depicts the father's autumn ritual of taking over the kitchen to make corn pudding. The narrator says that, "Watching Daddy make the corn pudding is a lot better than actually eating it" but when he "presents it at the dinner table wearing that smile of his and humming `Glory Hallelujah,' having to eat it is worth it." Bootman's full-page illustrations, done in rich oil paints and framed against a white backdrop, nicely reflect the warmth that radiates from the stories. While the book has no high drama or overt humor, those who read it will share this family's feeling of contentment and quiet satisfaction.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
These brief episodes from a mother's kitchen showcase Nolen's enticing prose and her inclusive world. A young African-American girl narrates a handful of stories that broadcast harmony, affection, the timelessness of childhood, the memories of those no longer children, and a penchant for hope and good fortune. These are tales plucked from the everyday: her mother's sisters gathering for their weekly gabfest and soup production ("Even the African violets are blooming, just like my aunts"), the wedding arranged for the cat and the doll, her father whipping up his inedible corn pudding ("Watching Daddy make the corn pudding is a lot better than actually eating it"), the blessings of cooking in Momma's mother's old stove, the announcement of her sister's scholarship. Although these events could have filled out a short-story collection, Nolen keeps her narration trim, relaying the incidents in an eager, celebratory voice. Bootman fills his handsome illustrations with smiles all around; this is a happy place and no one will deny its obvious joy. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064437868
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Series: Amistad Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 239,656
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerdine Nolen is the author of a diverse range of picture books, from the thoughtful In My Momma's Kitchen to the wildly imaginative Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm, which was made into a TV movie. Jerdine Nolen lives with her children in Ellicott City, Maryland.

Colin Bootman was born in Trinidad but moved to New York City at the age of seven. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, he has illustrated six picture books, including the popular Oh, No, Toto! (Scholastic). Colin has four children: Shantaquira, Aaquil, Rashida, and Rashaud. He lives in New York City.

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