Shhh! The Baby's Asleep by JaNay Brown-Wood and Elissambura

Happy Friday! Please join me in welcoming Dr. JaNay Brown-Wood to Watch. Connect. Read. I'm grateful she stopped by to discuss Shhh! The Baby's Asleep, Elissambura's illustrations, her family, picture books, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and JaNay wrote the words in black. Thank you, JaNay! 

Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep tells the story of a loving family working hard to keep the house nice and quiet so their napping baby can sleep. Of course, that’s always easier said than done! But the solution feels so satisfying, especially from my perspective, as a mother/author/educator!

Elissambura’s illustrations are lively, vibrant, and so much fun! I love how she captures the movement of the family members as well as variation in skin tones and body shapes/sizes. So enjoyable!

Grammy, Pop Pop, Shae, and Dante are pretty much inspired by my actual family members and loved ones. When I was growing up, I called my maternal grandparents Grammy and Pop Pop. Shae and Dante are just like my siblings or close cousins that I grew up with. All in all, just one, big, loving, family!

Grandma’s Tiny House and Imani’s Moon are such special books that are near and dear to my heart! They include warm stories filled with maternal love and spunky female characters who overcome challenges and solve their own problems.

Picture books are transformational! They set the stage for literacy development (being able to read, write, and spell) and they provide chances to learn about the world, about others, and about ourselves. They are tools for validation, inspiration, compassion, and change. Picture books are magic!

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me where I got the inspiration for SHHH! It came directly from my experience of being a new mother. I clearly remember when my daughter, Vivian, was an infant, my husband and I considered it a TRIUMPH when we got her to sleep—and we did everything we could to keep the place quiet! Sometimes, those efforts were unsuccessful! But, those experiences were great for inspiring an onomatopoeic story filled with family, fun, love—and literacy!

Photo Credit: Michelle Wood Studios

JaNay Brown-Wood is an early childhood professor and the author of several books for children, including Imani’s Moon and Grandma’s Tiny House. She also contributed to the poetry anthology Thanku: Poems of Gratitude. Much of JaNay’s work is intended to celebrate casual diversity, primarily featuring black characters. JaNay lives in California.

Elissambura is a freelance artist and has illustrated books for children, including Alligator Seder. Elissambura lives and works in Argentina. 

Look for Shhh! The Baby's Asleep on June 15, 2021. 

Charlesbridge's Description: 

Baby is finally asleep. But everyone is much too noisy! Can Mom, Daddy, Grammy, Pop Pop, Shae, Dante, Rover the dog, and even the neighbor keep quiet? Of course Baby is eventually awakened. But one savvy little narrator knows just the way to make his baby sister fall back asleep: by reading a good book to her, of course. A hilarious cast of characters will keep readers laughing throughout this amusing celebration of early literacy and intergenerational family relationships.


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