Nini

Nini

by Francois Thisdale
     
 

Long before Nini was born, she was in a safe place where a familiar voice promised her a loving home. But once she was born, that soft voice was replaced by the words of care givers in an orphanage. Though they were kind, Nini missed the soft voice and the promises it made. Then, one day, a man and a woman on the other side of the world learned that their dreams

Overview

Long before Nini was born, she was in a safe place where a familiar voice promised her a loving home. But once she was born, that soft voice was replaced by the words of care givers in an orphanage. Though they were kind, Nini missed the soft voice and the promises it made. Then, one day, a man and a woman on the other side of the world learned that their dreams were about to come true. They would finally have a baby to love. When they all met, Nini once again heard a soft voice, as reassuring and as loving as the first, and trusted that the promises had come true. But her first memory was never lost – it remained an echo for her to share with her parents in her new home.

This exceptional book about adoption is a comforting story for children and families who have experienced it first-hand, a tribute to the author’s own adopted child, and a very heartfelt thank-you for the gift of family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Illustrator Thisdale (Bird Child) makes his authorial debut with a lyrical story of a child's adoption in which somber moments are never far from those of hope and joy. The story opens before the child has been born, as she listens to her mother's voice, which "spoke of rice paddies and lotus flowers, blowing in the evening breeze," but also of troubling circumstances, left vague. After the baby is born, "he first hands she felt were the hands of love," but she is abruptly taken to an orphanage. Meanwhile, after a woman on "the other side of the world" loses her baby (the text, while circumspect, implies miscarriage), she and her husband soon come to adopt the girl, Nini, with whom they form a deep bond. Rendered in deep jewel tones and forceful brushstrokes, Thisdale's richly layered images incorporate Chinese characters, naïf children's drawings, and sometimes unsettlingly realistic images of Nini to dreamlike effect. The story's sadder moments will almost certainly draw questions from children, but the message of connectivity and love over distance, time, and circumstance resonates. Ages 3–6. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
 “…This is a lovely book for all who have been touched by adoption in some way.”
The Waterloo Region Record
 
“…Thisdale’s illustrations are beautiful, a highly textured combination of painting, drawing, and digital imagery. The pictures draw us in, creating atmosphere and tone, and ultimately establishing an unexpected connection between the Chinese and Canadian landscapes….”
Montreal Review of Books

“François Thisdale is best known as an illustrator, and Nini is the first book he has written. Nothing has been lost in the translation from the original French version. The poetic story of adoption, love, and family complements the soft illustrations which tell half of the story and set the mood on each page. This is Thisdale's personal story, and the black smudging around the edges of each page give the impression that readers are experiencing each step of the journey through his eyes…”
–Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This heart-warming poetic story of adoption begins as a baby, still in utero, is listening to a voice telling her about her surroundings: a little house, bamboo boats, and golden fields. When she is born, she sees the "sweet face that belonged to the voice," and feels "the soft hands of love." Then suddenly she is alone, in an orphanage. "On the other side of the world," a woman longs for a baby but is unable to have one. When they receive the baby's picture, she and her husband rejoice. The little girl has a hard journey to a city, where she meets the couple, who offer her a similar face, voice, and the love she remembers, before they fly to her new home. Over the years, as they become a family, "Their love joins them and reaches to the other side of the earth" in Nini's memories. Thisdale's imaginative use of traditional drawing and painting, digitally manipulated, produces double pages that suggest rather than stipulate the images. We recognize buildings, landscapes, even people, but there is a soft fuzziness, an unusual quality to the characters and settings. Frequent appealing photos of Nini appear along the way. The book is "a tribute to the author's own adopted child." Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this lyrical story, a child in the womb listens to her mother's voice speak of "bamboo boats and bicycles that rolled past golden fields and jagged mountains." When the infant is born, "the first hands she felt were the soft hands of love," but the next day she joins the "chorus of crying orphans." On the other side of the world a family longing for a child receives Nini's photograph and the journey of adoption begins. Thisdale's digitally enhanced illustrations are a dreamlike blend of realistic pictures of the child at different ages and scenery from two different countries. Chinese symbols are etched into the backgrounds. Evocative language and rich imagery explore how "the past [is] joined with the present, like a bridge that connects one place to another." A poetic portrait of family and adoption.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770492707
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
08/09/2011
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

For nearly twenty-five years, François Thisdale has worked as anaward-winning freelance illustrator, creating images for children’s books, news magazines, annual corporate reports, and book covers on behalf of North American and European clients. His trademark multi-textured images are the product of a unique blend of traditional drawing and painting techniques with digital imagery. Nini is the first book François Thisdale has authored.

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