This story comes out of the consciousness of a baby called Kaeli. This particular little person makes landfall on a children’s ward at a hospital. Its location in a multi-cultural setting turns out to be an appropriate setting in which her free-thinking spirit can speak for herself and other babies.
At first and on her own terms (and not unlike a small tropical storm), she sets some challenges which in all fairness, are manageable to all grownups concerned. To begin with, she rallies her new friends to object, obviously by action rather than words.
She begins by refusing to smile when tickled or treated like a puppet.
Unsuspecting children get ‘loaded’ with pet names which are fanciful, unrealistic, even illegal and include ‘nick’, ‘middle’, ‘pop-style’ and ‘named-for’. Whether light and frittery or heavy on the tongue, all are made up, borrowed from relatives, people in the limelight and even days of the week with that hope in mind.
So when they call her by name, Kaeli refuses to answer.
In fact this baby refuses to smile, talk or walk till she’s good and ready. That should teach ‘em !, she says without a hint of malice.
But when all is said and done, she wonders - is there really much for a baby to smile about these days ?
A delightful story rich in African Caribbean lore underpinned by the role of the grandparent and the related range of language which envelops the family spread of the diaspora, and appealing as it seems, to both parent and child. I liked the ending, and wish you all the best with your journey into publication, and happiness with your writing, which you obviously love. – Ann Walters, Educator/Literary Appraiser, Canada
It is a good work aimed at both new and potential parents, set around what seems any essentially amicable home situation, but with multi-cultural American Caribbean overtones enhanced by language. – Easton Lee, Folklorist, Cultural Icon and Author, Florida, USA
The story seems more to target parents and other adults who have to relate to children than children themselves. For the most part, each chapter could be read at bedtime as a separate approach (rendering) to the same child’s experience. Graymaw and the Little Mother are always around all of us. – Karlene Morgan, Entrepreneur, Jamaica
An authentic case of a maturing child and story, leading up to that crucial smile, and written with Cordella’s flair and style. – Paul Whylie, Writer, FRANCE
About the Author:
Cordella Wallace Lewis has been a student of adult literatures mainly in English, and to a lesser extent in Spanish. Although she has spent some time on adult fiction, which she also hopes to pursue, she has recently been struck with the demands placed on growing children by the modern lifestyle. Quite unintentionally she began to pen these thoughts which come, ostensibly, ‘out of the mouth of a babe’. This could also be because much of her working life has been spent with children. The Baby Who Would Not… is, hopefully, the first in a series of pursuits in the art of writing children’s books. The ground work has already been laid for another effort entitled Ten and Rising.
Buy the Book:
Buy The Baby Who Would Not at Amazon.com