Ernestine’s Milky Way

Kerry Madden-Lunsford, illus. by Emily Sutton. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1484-0
Ernestine and her Mama live on a valley farm within view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Ernestine’s father is off fighting in WWII and Mama’s expecting twins, so when their neighbor Mrs. Ramsey asks for milk for her children, delivering it is up to Ernestine. Though she’s strong-minded (“I’m five years old and a big girl,” she likes to say), it’s a daunting journey. “You’ll have to walk through the thickets of crabapple and blackberry by the creek,” Ernestine’s mother tells her, “and through the barbed-wire fence.” Madden-Lunsford (Gentle’s Holler) blends mild suspense (“she heard a snuffa-snuffa-snufflin’ along the path”) with relief and then triumph—especially when the jar of milk Ernestine thinks she’s lost is found and yields a treat. Thoughtful and precise ink-and-watercolor artwork by Sutton (Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth) shows Ernestine toiling along the path through the varied landscapes her mother has described, with scrub, trees, dense foliage, distant hills, and foraging creatures (none dangerous). The homespun tale gracefully highlights themes of living off the land, helping neighbors, and conquering fear—and the delights of dairy in Mason jars. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown Ltd. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2019
Release date: 03/05/2019
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Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-1-5247-1485-7
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