cover image Maisie’s Scrapbook

Maisie’s Scrapbook

Samuel Narh, illus. by Jo Loring-Fisher. Lantana, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-911373-57-5

In this lyrical tribute to a family’s unconditional and universal love, Maisie’s parents encourage her adventurous spirit and vivid imagination throughout the seasons. The folklore her father shares plays an influential role in Maisie’s flights of fancy (“She’s the hero in Dada’s tall tales”); on one whimsical spread, she’s pictured dressed in a bull costume while gripping the leg of an airborne spider (ostensibly Ananse, mentioned in the endpapers). The book’s most encompassing missive is the richness of Maisie’s mixed heritage: light-skinned Mama wears linen, cooks risotto, and plays the viola, while dark-skinned Dada wears kente cloth, cooks jollof rice, and plays marimba. Loring-Fisher’s subtly textured mixed-media art weaves these various cultural images into a comforting portrait of an all-embracing and loving family, embodied by the confident girl, who is “as relentless as spring rain,” “as bright as a summer’s day,” “as spirited as autumn leaves,” and “as pure as winter’s snow.” The story’s key message resounds clearly: no matter the season, and no matter what Mama and Dada are wearing, cooking, and playing, “They love her in the same way.” Ages 4–8. [em](Mar.) [/em]