cover image Cinnamon Baby

Cinnamon Baby

Nicola Winstanley, illus. by Janice Nadeau, Kids Can, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55337-821-1

At the Alchemy Bakery, titian-haired Miriam sings as she makes delicious breads with many different flavors and ingredients, though her favorite is cinnamon bread. Drawn to Miriam's voice and the smell of her breads, a man with coffee-colored skin buys bread from Miriam every day for a year, and then proposes to her. Before long, Miriam and Sebastian have a beautiful baby who has "big brown eyes and dusky skin and smelled like sweet milk." Only, the baby won't stop crying: "The baby cried at the sky. It cried at the flowers. It cried at the sunshine and the wind in the trees and at everyone who passed." Even the doctor is stumped. But when Miriam breathes in the sleeping baby's scent, she finally understands what will make the child happy—and Miriam, too. Nadeau (Harvey) has gentle fun with the baby's waterworks in her whimsical mixed-media collages (in one spread, buildings bob up and down in a sea seemingly created from the tears erupting from the baby's old-fashioned pram). Debut author Winstanley's simply-told fable offers a gentle message about the importance of nurturing the soul. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)