My Day with the Panye

by Tami Charles (Author) Sara Palacios (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A young girl in Haiti is eager to learn how to carry a basket to market in an exuberant picture book with universal appeal.

"To carry the panye, we move gracefully, even under the weight of the sun and the moon."

In the hills above Port-au-Prince, a young girl named Fallon wants more than anything to carry a large woven basket to the market, just like her Manman. As she watches her mother wrap her hair in a mouchwa, Fallon tries to twist her own braids into a scarf and balance the empty panye atop her head, but realizes it's much harder than she thought. BOOM! Is she ready after all? Lyrical and inspiring, with vibrant illustrations highlighting the beauty of Haiti, My Day with the Panye is a story of family legacy, cultural tradition, and hope for the future. Readers who are curious about the art of carrying a panye will find more about this ancient and global practice in an author's note at the end.

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School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3—Manman is planning a special day for her daughter, Fallon, in the markets of Port-au-Prince, and little sister Naima will have to wait her turn. Charles sprinkles Haitian words into the text that give texture to this loving book, which is part interpersonal story and a part travelogue of sights and sounds."Manman wraps her hair in a silk mouchwa, brighter than the Caribbean sea. I twist my sun-yellow scarf into my braids, but it doesn't look as good as hers." Palacio's brilliant illustrations of slightly stylized, elongated figures with mahogany skin tones, make the meanings clear, as Manman adds a panye, or basket, to the mouchwa on her head, for bringing back supplies. Along the way, Fallon longs to carry the panye, but her mother cautions her that these things take time. There are metaphors for carrying the panye that extend to Haiti itself—that it sways under the weight of sad events but it is not crushed. The poetic writing and Fallon's assessment of her ability will touch children deeply. An author's note tells of Charles's affinity for and connection to Haiti, and the significance of the panye globally. VERDICT A few facts, a generous worldview, and a bonding of mother and daughter makes this book ideal for story hours and lap-sharing.—Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Sketching Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Charles (All Because You Matter) centers Fallon, a brown-skinned Haitian girl who envies her mother's ability to carry the family's panye on her head as she walks to and from market. As Fallon's first-person narration relays how she tries and fails to balance the basket atop her silk-wrapped hair, Manman counsels patience: "When I was your age, my Manman would say, 'Pitit pitit zwazo fe nich li: Little by little the bird builds its nest.' Not everything is learned fast." In bright, complex colors and patterns rendered in gouache and assembled digitally, Palacios (A Way with Wild Things) paints houses; shops with French-language signage; "walls, still standing" post-earthquake; and a warm, sociable Port-au-Prince community. The tale celebrates how, in Haitian society, strong women support their families ("The panye means we are graceful when the load is heavy. We are strong, even when the Earth is not. We are family, fed from love"). Spotlighting a preservation of matrilineal skills and a compassionate parent-child relationship, this rich portrait of a tight-knit, resilient community simultaneously serves as warm encouragement to persevere when learning a new skill. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Charles sprinkles Haitian words into the text that give texture to this loving book, which is part interpersonal story and a part travelogue of sights and sounds. . .The poetic writing and Fallon's assessment of her ability will touch children deeply. . . A few facts, a generous worldview, and a bonding of mother and daughter makes this book ideal for story hours and lap-sharing.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

"In the hills of Port-au-Prince," little Fallon has a lot on her mind as she accompanies her mother into the bustling market, but more than anything, she wants to carry a panye on her head. . .Fallon is as easy to root for as Haiti is lovely to gaze upon in this graceful book.
—Kirkus Reviews

Fallon couldn't be more excited about accompanying Manman to the market. She not only gets to wrap her hair in a mouchwa in imitation of her mother but also gets to carry the panye. . .While the text honors the work of women and girls who keep communities strong and traditions meaningful, Palacios' cheerful illustrations are as vibrant and lush as the island itself, a perfect complement to Charles' tribute to the women of Haiti.
—Booklist

The text has a rhythmic vibrancy, rich with imagery. . .The vivid narrative is matched by the effervescent digital art, packed to the brim with texture and bold colors and perfectly capturing the milieu of the Haitian city, from the "tap-tap bus" that chugs by, to the graffiti that celebrates Haitian culture, to the joyful chaos of the market. . .plenty of kids will relate to Fallon's yearning to prove her mettle by carrying the basket and they'll appreciate Manman's patience and encouragement. Readers who enjoyed the neighborhood jaunt in Quintero's My Papi Has a Motorcycle (BCCB 5/19) will want to amble along with Fallon and Manman.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Sketching Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Charles (All Because You Matter) centers Fallon, a brown-skinned Haitian girl who envies her mother's ability to carry the family's panye on her head as she walks to and from market. . . . In bright, complex colors and patterns rendered in gouache and assembled digitally, Palacios (A Way with Wild Things) paints houses; shops with French-language signage; "walls, still standing" post-earthquake; and a warm, sociable Port-au-Prince community. The tale celebrates how, in Haitian society, strong women support their families. . . Spotlighting a preservation of matrilineal skills and a compassionate parent-child relationship, this rich portrait of a tight-knit, resilient community simultaneously serves as warm encouragement to persevere when learning a new skill.
—Publishers Weekly

Author Tami Charles and illustrator Sara Palacios have filled this picture book with vivid colors and descriptive language. Set in Haiti, the story centers on a young girl, Fallon, going to the market with her mother, Manman, who wears the panye on her head to carry food home. . . . The overall tone of the text is light-hearted yet it will nevertheless lend itself to questions and discussions about cultural diversity.
—School Library Connection
Tami Charles
Tami Charles is the author of numerous books for children, including her fiction debut, Like Vanessa. During an appearance on Good Morning America, she featured a Thanksgiving version of Freedom Soup, which she first learned to make from her husband's ti gran. Tami Charles lives in New Jersey.

Jacqueline Alcántara, the illustrator of The Field by Baptiste Paul, was selected for the inaugural We Need Diverse Books Mentorship program. She lives in Chicago.
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780763697495
Lexile Measure
-
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
March 16, 2021
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV039090 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | New Experience
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV030040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | Caribbean & Latin America
Library of Congress categories
Haiti

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