It’s November and that means…it’s pie season! Pecan Pie Baby is the story of Gia, a little girl who has a baby sibling on the way. As most big siblings have probably experienced, conversation constantly finds its way back to “that ding dang baby,” as Gia puts it. Gia’s mother tries to reassure her in subtle ways–telling her that the baby loves pecan pie just like they do, but it’s…less than successful. (“So that baby’s just being a copycat!”)
This story is honest, even in its ending. After a Thanksgiving outburst, Gia admits that she is going to miss her life before that baby. And much to her surprise, Mama feels the same way. The time they have had as just the two of them has been special. Things are going to be different. Even though something is being gained, something is also being lost and it’s ok to be sad about that. This is a powerful message for kids, who we often push to be happy and excited about huge changes in their lives before they really feel that way.
The story ends with Gia saying they’d better go have some dessert “before that ding-dang pecan pie baby gets here.” There isn’t a simple resolution to this story. But, you do sense a slight shift in the final line as Gia admits “how much the three of us loved ourselves some pecan pie!” It may still be “that ding-dang baby” but at least there’s a “three of us” now. Gia can be both sad to lose the past and ready to step into the future.
This is a warm and bittersweet story and given Gia and her family of three’s love of pecan pie, the obvious recipe is…pecan pie! Well, “Baby Pecan Pie Poppers,” actually. Seeing as how Gia’s mama is about to “pop,” it seemed appropriate.
I found this recipe on the Pillsbury website. These go perfectly with this book. You get 16 from just one can (by cutting each triangle of dough in half). You just slather on a coat of butter, add a sprinkling of brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans and then swaddle up those babies and pop those buns in the oven. Oh dear–I’m getting lost in my metaphors…but ANYway, 12 minutes later you’ve got a yummy treat.
These are tasty enough to get even the surliest of soon-to-be-siblings starting to warm up to the idea of a fellow pecan-lover in the house. And if not, they’ll at least provide some comfort food in the meantime.
Shared traditions and family favorites can help reassure children that they are part of something special, that they belong. This can be particularly needed when a family is about to grow. Gia may not be 100% on board for big sisterhood, but her willingness to share a slice of her favorite dessert with her little sibling at the end of Pecan Pie Baby is a hopeful sign.