Room for the Baby

Room for the Baby

by Michelle Edwards, Jana Christy
     
 

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UH-OH!

What's a family to do when there's a baby on the way but no place to put a crib?

The big brother-to-be is worried. His mom does have a sewing room, but its every nook and cranny is stuffed with cast-off items and outgrown clothes that people have given her to recycle and reuse—some day. Now that day has come—because the new arrival will need

Overview

UH-OH!

What's a family to do when there's a baby on the way but no place to put a crib?

The big brother-to-be is worried. His mom does have a sewing room, but its every nook and cranny is stuffed with cast-off items and outgrown clothes that people have given her to recycle and reuse—some day. Now that day has come—because the new arrival will need someplace to sleep and something to wear. So the resourceful mom gets to work, making new clothes from old to outfit the baby-to-be.

Inspired by her creativity, the neighbors get involved, and soon everyone is stitching and knitting something. As the months go by and the family celebrates the Jewish holidays from Passover to Hanukkah, big brother helps his mom get ready, too. But things move slowly and he continues to worry: will there ever be room for the baby?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“When somebody had something they didn’t need anymore, they gave it to my mom,” says the son of a master seamstress. “Everyone knew Mom would put it all to good use.” But when Mom announces at Passover that the narrator is going to be a big brother by Hanukkah—and that the baby’s room will be her former sewing room—the boy wonders if his mother has met her match: “Could Mom really use up all that stuff before the baby is born?” Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe readers will care all that much, especially since the narrator’s role in the resolution is minimal and the enviable sewing room is hardly a hoarder’s den—how much room does a baby need, anyway? Edwards (The Hanukkah Trike) and Christy (You Are the Best Medicine) offer a sweet-natured chronicle of a mother’s ingenuity and the collective joy shared by a tight-knit community at the prospect of a new arrival. But with Mom so unflappable and no displacement anxiety on the part of the boy, the narrative stakes are low and emotions remain even-keeled. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—From the endpapers featuring quilt squares with menorahs, apples and honey, onesies, yarn and knitting needles, teddy bears, and spools of red thread with needles, readers will know they are in for a multilayered story. While the young narrator and his father are buttering their Passover matzos, Mom announces that she is having a baby. But where will the baby sleep? The apartment is crowded and the spare room-the sewing room-is filled with old sheets, sweaters, pajamas, and cloth collected over the years from neighbors. So from Passover through Rosh Hashanah to Simhat Torah, and on to Hanukkah, Mom tears, cuts, and stitches diapers, sleepers, onesies, blankets, caps, and mittens, cleaning out the sewing room and preparing for the infant while showing neighbors how to bring new life to old items. On the third night of Hanukkah, Lily is born and big brother and the neighbors bring her gifts created from hand-me-downs and leftover materials. Brightly colored, collagelike illustrations with detailed patterns accompany the lively text, delivering the reuse, recycle, repurpose theme. That the family is Jewish and the neighborhood diverse add texture to the story in a completely natural fashion.—Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Everyone is thrilled that there's going to be a new baby, but where will the child sleep? Mom's sewing room would be perfect, but it is full to the brim with worn-out clothes, leftover yarn and boxes of odds and ends donated by neighbors who know Mom is a master at recycling and repurposing. As months pass, filled with weekly Sabbath celebrations and Jewish holiday traditions, Mom and all the neighbors are busy, happily sewing, knitting and crafting, making diapers, baby clothes and mittens for anyone who expresses a need. The whole family gets into the act; Dad makes a crib from a steamer trunk, and the young narrator organizes a giveaway of free stuff. The sewing room is gradually transformed into a beautiful room for the baby, who receives a joyous welcome. Edwards moves the events through the year, introducing a warm, loving, traditional Jewish family and a close-knit multicultural city community. Information about Jewish holidays, especially the food, is neatly and deliciously incorporated. Underlying themes focus on the processes and satisfaction of creative arts and crafts as well as the green concept of reusing found items for new purposes. Christy's bright illustrations, as well as the endpapers, are filled with amusing details, patterns and textures, along with a sense of movement and busy endeavor. Warmth and comfort abound. (Picture book. 3-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375870903
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

MICHELLE EDWARDS is the author/editor of more than a dozen books for children, including Chicken Man, which won the National Jewish Book Award. Her first book for adults, A Knitter's Home Companion, is an illustrated collection of stories, patterns, and anecdotes. She lives in Iowa City with her family. 

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