No Mush Today

By Booklist

Nonie refuses to eat her yucky mush porridge for breakfast (‘mush is baby food’), and to get away from her bawling baby brother, she runs next door to Grandma’s house, where she thinks she’d like to live because she gets the attention she craves (‘Grandma attends when I’m talkin’’). Then, after she goes with Grandma to church, joins the ladies’ picnic, and spends time with Daddy in a boat and on the swings, she returns home to her baby brother, now smiling and reaching for her at the gate. Maybe home isn’t so bad after all. True to the young kid’s viewpoint, this picture book tells the displaced-sibling story with wry affection. The warm, realistic watercolor double-page spreads show Nonie’s anger, jealousy, and feeling of connections with her loving African American family and in the multiracial church community. Nonie’s sulks are as much fun as the final quiet embrace, when she gives the baby the little yellow duckling toy she has been clutching throughout the day.