More Babas, Please!

26 May 2017

More Babas, Please!
by Marion Mutala, Illustrated by Olha Tkachenko
Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing
Review by Michelle Shaw
$14.95 ISBN 9781927756928

Award-winning author Marion Mutula’s latest book, More Babas, Please! is a happy celebration of grandmothers. All grandmothers everywhere. “Big ones, small ones, fat ones, tall. Curly-haired, straight-haired, wig-wearing, bald.”

The rhyming has an almost sing-song rhythm which seems so natural that you instinctively know that a lot of work has gone into making it seem so effortless! The layout is classic and clean with lots of white space and large type, perfect for early readers and grown-ups with bad eye sight. Each left page features a beautiful full page colour illustration by Ukranian-born illustrator Olha Tkachenko.

Although the book celebrates grandmothers of all nationalities, Mutala’s love for her Ukranian heritage and her babas is a constant thread throughout the book. She uses Ukranian words like holubtsi (cabbage rolls) and dyakuyu (thank you) and for non-Ukranian speakers there’s a helpful glossary at the back of the book. There’s even a recipe for Baba Sophie’s Borscht!

The book gave me a warm feeling as I reflected on my own grandmother. It speaks to all the good that grandmothers do (and are) and to all the ways they surround their grandchildren with love, understanding, acceptance, affection and food!

The colourful word cloud on the inside back and front cover with the word for grandmother in different languages is an extra treat. It was fun to see how many languages I recognized!

Fittingly, a percentage of sales from the book will be given to the Steven Lewis Foundation for “Grandmothers for Grandmothers”, which assists African grandmothers to care for their grandchildren who have been orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.

Marion Mutala is the author of the national best-selling and award-winning children’s book trilogy, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukranian Christmas, Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukranian Easter and Baba’s Babushka: A Magical Ukrainian Wedding.

Mutala will be launching More Babas, Please! at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon on Monday, May 29 2017. There will also be a reading and signing.


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