A young girl rebels against eating mush for breakfast everyday, seeks solace with her grandmother, and eventually realizes there’s no place like home.
Nonie, a young African-American girl, sits at the breakfast table with her parents and a wailing baby, sulking: "'Not gonna eat my mush. Not gonna eat it!' I say. 'Squishy, yucky, yellow stuff-mush is baby food.'" She puts on her shiny black shoes, and, with her chin poked out, stomps off to live with Grandma (next door), where there's no mushy mush or bawling babies, and where "Grandma attends when I'm talkin'." Nonie feels better as she and Grandma go to church, but when Daddy passes the collection plate, he faces a still-frowning daughter. Later, at the church picnic, her mood lightens and she allows her dad to give her a paddleboat ride. Pointing out animals, he says, "Ducklings stick with their families.... Lots to learn from ducks." By day's end, Nonie has decided to return home and is greeted by her baby brother's great big smile and Momma's warm welcome. The story is told in two to four short sentences per page. The spare text deftly conveys Nonie's reactions and emotions, which are clearly reflected in Tadgell's realistic, folksy watercolors sweeping across double pages. Ultimately, this gentle story addresses the universal frustration older siblings often face at having a new baby in the family.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Meet the Author
SALLY DERBY is the author of numerous children's books. The inspiration for No Mush Today came from a young girl at Derby's church, and from her own childhood dislike of cornmeal mush. Derby and her husband live in Cincinnati, Ohio.
NICOLE TADGELL has illustrated several picture books for trade and educational publishers. Having recently illustrated many stories about boys, Tadgell was excited about the opportunity to draw the spunky little girl in No Mush Today. Tadgell and her husband live in Spencer, Massachusetts.
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