The rhythm of the day’s activities creates the melody of the evening’s lullaby in this sweet song of family life along the banks of Lake Tanganyika.
As the bright day shifts to twilight, the lantern on Baba’s boat twinkles in the distance, sending the baby off into a peaceful sleep on Mama’s shoulder.
Inspired by a visit to her son, his wife, and their child in Tanzania, Patricia MacLachlan writes a gentle story of an African family’s day from sunup to sundown.
Rich, beautifully detailed illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon offer a restful complement to the Swahili refrain “lala salama”–an invocation to “sleep well.”
For sleepy little ones everywhere, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan offers a lyrical Tanzanian lullaby that follows a loving family through their day.
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Publishers Weekly says, “MacLachlan presents a vision of African life that’s serene and safe, and the mother’s voice lulls, reassures, and soothes-it’s rich bedtime listening for the very young.” See more reviews.
Lala Salama evolved from a time spent with her son John and his family in Tanzania, where John worked with Jane Goodall, and he and his wife worked on other conservation projects as well. Their daughter Ella was born in Tanzania. Patricia MacLachlan lives in Massachusetts.
About Lala Salama, she says, “For me, the key to falling in love with a story is feeling a connection with the people and places native to the setting.”
Born in New York State, she grew up on the Ivory Coast, West Africa, and now lives in upstate New York.
“The Family I Call Mine” by Patricia MacLachlan, Graduation Appreciation Ceremony for MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults graduates at Hamline University. July 17, 2011. Introduction by Mary François Rockcastle. Part 1 of 2. Peek: “I talked too much. I stared out the window. I daydreamed. I started stories in class. I laughed inappropriately.”