The women who caught the babies A story of African American midwives

Eloise Greenfield

Book - 2019

Through historical information, poems, illustrations, and photographs, the author shows the ways in which African American midwives have helped families over the course of hundreds of years.

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Subjects
Genres
Poetry
Picture books
Published
Carrboro, North Carolina : Alazar Press 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9780997772074
0997772077
Main Author
Eloise Greenfield (author)
Other Authors
Daniel Minter (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Through words and images, this unusual book of verse celebrates the long tradition of African American midwives guiding babies into the world "with gentle, loving hands." The book opens with Greenfield's prose introduction to midwives' work, their education, and their sense of dedication to a calling. The first poem, "The Women," sets the tone: "They caught the babies, / and catch them still, / welcome them into the world, / for loving." Other poems are set during the voyage to America, in the period shortly after emancipation, in the early 1900s, and in the early 2000s. "The Women" appears again with a different illustration, followed by "Miss Rovenia Mayo," a poem of remembrance for the midwife who welcomed Greenfield herself into the world. A source bibliography is appended. While well-chosen archival photos accompany the book's introduction and final poem, Minter's full-page paintings beautifully illustrate most of the verse. Strong and graceful, the images feature deep, rich colors brightened with white netlike forms created with repeated motifs and vibrant images evocative of the natural world: the ocean, sea-foam, fishes, birds, branches, leaves, blossoms, fruits, and new life waiting to be born. A unique, moving tribute to the women who caught the babies and continue to do so today. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The Women Who Caught the Babies highlights important aspects of the training and work of African American midwives and the ways in which they have helped, and continue to help, so many families by “catching” their babies at birth. The blend of Eloise Greenfield’s poetry and Daniel Minter’s art evokes heartfelt appreciation of the abilities of African American midwives over the course of time. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The Women Who Caught the Babies highlights important aspects of the training and work of African-American midwives and the ways in which they have helped, and continue to help, so many families by 'catching' their babies at birth. The blend of Eloise Greenfield's poetry and Daniel Minter's art evokes heartfelt appreciation of the abilities of African-American midwifes over the course of time. The poem 'Africa to America" begins the poetic journey. The poem 'the Women" both heralds the poetry/art pairing and concludes it with a note of gratitude. Also included is a piece titled 'miss Rovenia Mayo," which pays tribute to the midwife who caught newborn Eloise.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The Women Who Caught the Babies highlights important aspects of the training and work of African-American midwives and the ways in which they have helped, and continue to help, so many families by 'catching' their babies at birth. The blend of Eloise Greenfield's poetry and Daniel Minter's art evokes heartfelt appreciation of the abilities of African-American midwifes over the course of time. The poem 'Africa to America" begins the poetic journey. The poem 'the Women" both heralds the poetry/art pairing and concludes it with a note of gratitude. Also included is a piece titled 'miss Rovenia Mayo," which pays tribute to the midwife who caught newborn Eloise.