Friday, May 1, 2015

Pecan Pie Baby
 By Jacqueline Woodson
 Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Jacqueline Woodson is one of my favorite authors.  I love her 'voice' and the way she uses vernacular in her storytelling.

Book Talk
Gia’s  life is about to change drastically as her mother is expecting a baby soon.  Gia is not pleased at all with the prospect of having a baby around the house and completely changing what Gia has considered a pretty wonderful life.

A favorite line starts the book and shows Woodson’s wonderful, rich storytelling voice:
“Just as summer started leaving us and the leaving brought all those colors to the trees, Mama pulled out my winter clothes.”

Gia’s life continues through the fall when all her family - aunts, uncles, grandmothers-begin to get very excited about the arrival of the new baby.  Gia continues to sulk and pout about the idea.  At one point, Mama points out that she already knows that the baby likes pecan pie—just like Gia and Mama.  Since sharing a big piece of delicious pecan pie is something that Gia and Mama have always done together, Gia is not convinced that this is such a good thing.

Another favorite line is when Gia’s friends play jump rope with her and make up a jump rope rhyme: “Mama’s having a baby / People are going crazy / If it’s a boy, give it a toy / If it’s a girl, give her a curl / Wrap it up in toilet paper / Send it down the escalator / First floor-stop! / Second floor-stop! / Third floor-you better watch out!

At Thanksgiving dinner, Gia has a big fit about the baby—- and is sent to her room.  Mama finally comes up for a cuddle and some pecan pie. Things get a little better for Gia then.

Suggested Uses as Mentor Text:
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading Workshop Strategies: Predicting, Connecting, Inferring, Summarizing, Writer’s Voice
Writing Workshop: Narrative Writing, Opinion Writing, Elaboration
Curricular Themes: Diversity / We Need Diverse Books, Families, Adjusting to new changes

Jacqueline Woodson’s website

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