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Randomly Reading

Saltypie is Tim Tingle's homage to his strong, loving grandmother and how she faced the difficulties and problems she encountered, and passed that on to her family. A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, in 1915, his Mawmaw moved to Texas with her husband and 2 year old son. One morning Mawmaw was standing on the porch of their house, when she was hit in the head with a rock by a boy she never saw coming, simply because she was Indian. Bleeding, her 2 year old son, thought the blood looked like the sweet filling of his mother's cherry pie, but tasted like “saltypie” instead. Saltypie became the word that helped the family deal with trouble, “Sometimes you don't know where the trouble comes from. You just kinda shrug it off, say saltypie. It helps you carry on.” I thought the subtitle of this story has a nice double meaning. It is Tim's journey from darkness to light about his grandmother's life, and his grandmother's journey from darkness to light after she has surgery to give her her sight back — lost years ago to a disease.

I had read Saltypie in Tingle's collection of stories about the Choctaw people (a book I highly recommend and in fact, I think I will revisit it this week), but I don't think any of the original feeling was lost in turning it into a picture book. It is complimented by Karen Clarkson's softly painted illustrations that really capture all the emotions of the family on each page, but especially the last image of Mawmaw, whose eyes are open for the first time since that fateful morning in 1915.
- November 30, 2016  Visit Website

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