May 29, 2015
Tumbleweed Baby by Anna Myers, illustrated by Charles Vess
by Anna Myers
illustrated by Charles Vess
Abrams Books for Young Readers
The Upagainstit children are walking home from school when the biggest boy is knocked right down by a tumbleweed.
Yes, Upagainstit. Say it out loud. UP-against-it. Get it? Good. Now back to the story.
The Upagainstit children are walking home from school when the biggest boy is knocked right down by a tumbleweed. Out of the tumbleweed sticks a foot. When he takes a closer look, he discovers that nestled inside is a “wild-all-over baby.” Against the better judgement of the littlest girl, they take her home to their falling apart house.
The littlest girl is sure that keeping the wild baby is a bad idea but Mama knows what has to come first — this baby needs a bath. It seems that bathing a tumbleweed baby is a lot like bathing a cat and soon water and soap are everywhere. Dinner isn’t much calmer and bedtime? Bedtime is something else.
At this point, Mama and Papa are pretty certain this isn’t going to work. But the biggish boy wants to keep her – it will make him stronger. And the smallest boy knows that chasing after her will help him be the fastest at recess. The not-so–big girl needs the practice so she can be a teacher.
Papa still isn’t sure but then Tumbleweed Baby snuggles up close and he’s a goner.
I’m not going to tell you how the littlest girl and Tumbleweed baby reconcile. It’s just to “Awwwww.” You’ll have to get the book and read it yourself.
Charles Vess used colored ink and pencil to crate the illustrations for this book. His picture remind me somewhat of the murals of Thomas Hart Benton in the Missouri State Capitol. Somehow the pieces are both larger than life, but so down-to-earth and real that you can almost feel the grit.
This is definitely a story for every wild child who doesn’t easily conform as well as the people who love these active, strong-willed children. Frankly, I think it would make an excellent gift for the first grade teacher who didn’t even flinch when my own pointed out that he didn’t have time to read, thank you very much. But it would make a good gift for patient teachers, moving parents and classrooms who nurture all of the special children who find their way inside.