Synopses & Reviews
"'Lala salama' means 'Sleep peacefully' in Swahili; MacLachlan (Before You Came) imagines the phrase repeated by a Tanzanian mother as she recounts the events of the day to her small child. In all of Zunon's (My Hands Sing the Blues) warm, intimate oil paintings, the baby is shown held close; its feet never touch the ground. The baby sits on its mother's lap and watches Baba, the father, sweep out his fishing boat. Later, the mother washes the baby 'in the water warmed by the fire' and carries the baby on her back, 'close enough to feel the beating of your heart' as she collects water in a jug, works the field, and cooks an evening meal. At last, baby and mother sit on the shore, watching the lights of the boats: 'One by one by one, the lanterns/ flicker on the lake / stars above and stars below.' MacLachlan presents a vision of African life that's serene and safe, and the mother's voice lulls, reassures, and soothes it's rich bedtime listening for the very young. Ages 3 up. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Patricia MacLachlan is the Newbery Medal-winning author of the much-loved SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL. Lala Salama evolved from a time spent with her son John and his family in Tanzania, where John worked with Jane Goodall, and he and his wife worked on other conservation projects as well. Their daughter Ella was born in Tanzania. Patricia MacLachlan lives in Massachusetts.
Elizabeth Zunon is the illustrator of MY HANDS SING THE BLUES. About Lala Salama, she says, "For me, the key to falling in love with a story is feeling a connection with the people and places native to the setting." Born in New York State, she grew up on the Ivory Coast, West Africa, and now lives in upstate New York.