CM . . . . Volume XV Number 13. . . .February 20, 2009.
My Little Round House.
Bolormaa Baasansuren. Adapted by Helen Mixter.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2009.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
Kindergarten-grade 3 / Ages 5-8.
Review by Ellen Heaney.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
My Little Round House is an unusual tale with an exotic setting. Rich illustrations in the
colours of an Eastern carpet help tell the story of a boy whose “little round house” is variously his mother's womb, a baby basket, and cradling arms around his waist as he sits on the front of a horse riding across the Mongolian plain.
The main reference to a round house is the family's ger, or house of felt and poles, which can be taken down and reassembled as the band follows its nomadic path through the seasons.
From fall to winter and into spring, readers follow these unfamiliar lives, the details of which are explained equally in the text and in stylized pictures.
The lambs were born. The one with big ears was called
The largest was Bumbai and the smalled Mogjookhan.
The littlest lambs lived inside our ger with us, and my
Grandmother gave them milk. I was good at helping her.
The first-person narrative ends satisfyingly with little Jilu's first birthday. The story offers a true sense of the rhythm of a traditional life and of the affection within the family circle.
The author and illustrator is an artist from Mongolia with international training and other picture book credits to her name. The solid human figures take up real space, and the detail in each spread is exquisite. The book was originally published in Japanese.
Ellen Heaney is the Head of Children's Services at the New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, BC.
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