A Ride on Mother’s Back: A Day of Baby Carrying Around the World, by Emery & Durga Bernhard
published in 1996 by Gulliver Books — Harcourt Brace & Co.
How have I never seen this book before?!
I love it. And if you have a multicultural heart — trust me, you will love it, too.
“All around the world babies love to be held close.” That’s how we start out, and I love that we begin with what we share in common — our human longing for love and care, and the universal response of parents to devise ways of keeping those babies near.
Yet, busy parents need hands free to cook and garden, wash and market. So, we’ve invented clever ways of toting the smallest ones. You did not think contemporary Americans invented baby slings and backpacks, did you? No. We were late to the party.
Baby Rosha in Guatemala is rocked gently in the folds of a shawl as her mother pats out corn tortillas.
Sweet Pelagie nestles in caribou fur in her mama’s parka.
Sita is hoping for some fried sugar candy as she rides on her father’s back in Kathmandu.
Travel to eleven countries to catch a glimpse of their culture and find out how they tote and care for their babies. Interesting vignettes perfectly pitched for children ages 5 and up, are paired with beautiful, colorful gouache paintings that reveal all sorts of things about these homelands — climate, clothing, architecture, vegetation… Heartwarming and intriguing.
Three additional pages of notes about the peoples mentioned in the book provide more cultural information. Outstanding title to knit children’s hearts to the wide world.