My Little Round House

In this delightful picture book, baby Jilu recounts his first year of life in a nomadic Mongolian community. He remembers being cradled by his singing mother, the delicious smells from the cooking pot, his first meeting with his grandparents, and the family’s wandering life with a camel caravan. They celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the new year, and later revel in the warmth and freedom of summer. Richly illustrated by a young Mongolian author/illustrator, this book reveals a world very different, and yet surprisingly similar, to that of young readers and their parents.

2 thoughts on “My Little Round House

  1. Cheri, I appreciate you for sharing these beautifully illustrated stories and your expertise in art. Had you not spotlighted them and shared your understandings, these texts might not have crossed my path.

    I believe some of the challenges for book reviewers in terms of illustration are the same challenges they face in reviewing print – lack of cultural knowledge and few if any cultural connections.
    Conducting research to verify or discover cultural authenticity is time-consuming. Finding cultural insiders who can comment on both print and illustration is ideal, but again that takes time and connections.

    I agree that it is “wrong” to ignore cultural aspects of art (or print) but far too many book reviewers do not have the time nor do they dedicate the time it takes to fully comprehend a text in terms of authenticity. Most have day-jobs…

    For me, that is why a resource such as WOW that focuses on cultural authenticity is so important. I will point children’s literature students to your posts to learn from your work. Thank you for contributing to this conversation.

  2. cheri anderson says:

    Circle patterns are repeated in a variety of ways throughout the
    illustrations of this book. The circle has been a profound visual
    symbol throughout art history to signal completeness and unending
    love that is all encompassing and cyclical. It has also been used as
    a classic symbol for family. Circles are found in the subtle patterns
    in the fabrics of each family member’s garments, the rugs, the
    texture of the batting in the baby’s bed, the food on the table, and
    the stars in the sky. The circle is a symbol of closure and so this
    book closes with the end of the first year in the baby’s life. The
    reader senses it is only the beginning of many years enveloped in the
    rich Mongolian culture.

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