Cover image for Wilhe'mina Miles after the stork night
Wilhe'mina Miles after the stork night
Carter, Dorothy (Dorothy A.)
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Since her father is out of town working, eight-year-old Wilhe'mina must go for help when the stork visits her mother to bring her a new brother.
General Note:
"Frances Foster books."
Reading Level:
390 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 80159.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Wilhe'mina is the one her pregnant mama depends on when time comes to fetch the midwife...Wilhe'mina's a little scared [but] bravely, she finds her way...A loving story of an African American child growing up in the rural South."-Booklist

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. With her daddy up north working at Grand Central Station to earn money for the family, Wilhe'mina is the one her pregnant mama depends on when time comes to fetch the midwife. Though she's "going on eight years old," Wilhe'mina's a little scared to be going down the road and across the treacherous, makeshift bridge to Mis' Hattie's house after dark. Bravely, she finds her way and stays with Mis' Hattie's sister. In the morning, she runs home to see her mama and finds a new baby brother as well. Children will respond to the story of Wilhe'mina's terror and applaud the determination with which she overcomes it. They'll also appreciate the straightforward way Carter deals with the book's theme of both missing and sorely missed father. Another nice touch is how the coy "visit from the stork" explanation that has been offered to Wilhe'mina gives way to a rudimentary understanding that babies grow inside their mothers. The deep-toned, richly colored illustrations are executed in chalks but have a painterly quality as well. A loving story of an African American child growing up in the rural South. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

On the night her mother is ready to give birth, it's up to Wilhe'mina to make the trek to Mis' Hattie's and tell her that Mama needs help. As in Bye, Mis' Lela, their previous collaboration, Carter and Stevenson convey strong ties between characters against a gently nostalgic backdrop. The opening spread sets the scene with Wilhe'mina, "going on eight years old," swinging under the umbrage of a giant tree in a yard defined by a picket fence. The author describes a girl conquering her fears when Mama sends her daughter on the harrowing journey to Mis' Hattie's house: "A full yellow moon raced ahead of me. The moonbeams sprayed and pushed back the dark." When Mis' Hattie returns from her mission, she doesn't give away the secret ("Go home, Sugar Plum, and see what the stork left for you"); readers get to discover the happy news right along with Wilhe'mina and watch the heroine emerge stronger for her role in her baby brother's arrival. If the characters' faces in the illustrations are sometimes uneven, the affection that emanates between mother and daughter, and the comforting mood, exuding from the soft-colored pastels, carry any inconsistencies. Mama's acknowledgment of her daughter's newfound confidence and Stevenson's closing portrait of a transformed Wilhe'mina conclude the book on a high note. Ages 5-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3Told by her mother that the stork is on its way, Wilhemina runs to a neighbors house for help. Although its dark and scary and the bridge is rickety, the girl is successful. The next day, she returns home and greets her new baby brother with dismay, as if she had no clue about what was going on. Her mother explains that there really is no stork: Its just an old saying, a secret way of talking to children about a big wonderment. Its hard to fathom that a child going on eight is so uninformed. Besides this lack of credulity, the story is also weakened by its diffused focus. The plot involves not only the absence of the father, Wilheminas fear of the night, and the arrival of the baby, but theres also a fourth subtext related to her name (she used to be called Sugar Plum but now that shes a big girl Mama declares shell call her Wilhemina). The book also falls flat because of insufficient characterization. The illustrations are rich in color and design. They create a bayou environment full of lush vegetation in shimmering sunlight or moonlit blues. Mama comes across as sturdy and strong but the vacant look in Wilheminas eyes only serves to further undermine readers connection to her.Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.