Nicola Winstanley, Janice Nadeau, Cinnamon Baby
Published February 1st 2011 by Kids Can Press, 32p
This book makes you feel the smell of fresh baked bread in a spring morning.
It is a modern fairy tale about Miriam who rode her bike every day to her little bakery where she baked all kind of bread.
There she would make wonderful bread, full of smells to make your nose twitch and tastes to make your tongue tingle.
She always saved the cinnamon bread, her favorite, for last.
One day she met Sebastian, a violin player who bought a loaf of her bread and then continued to buy it every day for a whole year. They married and shortly had a baby. The child smelled like milk and brought even more happiness in their lives.
On his fourth day of life, the baby started to cry and nothing could stop it. The illustrations are charming. We can see Miriam trying to do everything that normally would have calmed a baby but nothing seemed to work until they all went to the bakery where Miriam baked her cinnamon bread. As soon as the smell began to fill the child’s senses, the crying stopped.
I am sure you will find delight in this story. The illustrations are so beautiful and suggestive and the text emphasizes the powerful bond between a baby and his parents. We don’t even know if the child is a boy or a girl, what really matters is the significance of its birth and the connection it settles. The father thinks it is the most beautiful baby in the world.
The parents are themselves romantic; they fall in love, experience marriage and then have the baby. They are both the artistic type so the baby’s senses need to be nurtured from the very beginning too. Happiness is music, cozy, familiar places, aromatic smells and the child needs them from the beginning. Its parents rocked it, bathed is, walked it when crying but it was only the smell of bread that made the baby happy.
I also liked the interracial message of the book which in only transmitted through illustrations. Miriam is white and Sebastian is black, therefore their baby has a beautiful cinnamon color – a symbol of its parents love and its mother’s passion.