Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Children's Book Review: Just Like Mama by Lesléa Newman

Authors: By Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Julia Gorton
Imprint: Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0-8109-8393-1
EAN: 9780810983939
Availability: In Stock
Publishing Date: 4/1/2010
Trim Size: 9 x 9
Page Count: 32
Cover: Hardcover with jacket
Illustrations: 32 pages of full-color illustrations


Just Like Mama is a beautiful testament to the love between mother and daughter, and especially how, in a child’s eyes, a mother does everything perfectly, from cooking to playing to simply loving. There are some things that no one can do as well as a mom. “With a pile of pancakes shaped like moons, and cocoa with a cloud of cream, no one can cook breakfast just like Mama.” Nor garden, host tea parties, cook supper, or tuck her child into bed. No one does it just like Mama can. And in the end, nobody loves Mama just like her little girl does.

My Thoughts:

Being a new mom to a daughter has brought back fond memories I had growing up with my mama and how I thought no one could do anything better than here, including cooking, tucking me into bed, hosting tea parties, etc.  In Just Like Mama, author, Lesléa Newman, does an amazing job at capturing the feelings I had growing up about my mother and how perfect she was (and still is) in my eyes, and puts it all down on paper.  And, now, as I take the journey as a mother to a little girl (and another daughter on the way), I can't help but think what my daughters will think of me as they grow.  Will they have the same mother-daughter experiences that my mother and I had?  Will they think that no other mother can do it better?  We'll have to wait and see.  But, in the meantime, I will enjoy sharing this story with them time and time again, and talking to them about the fun I had with my mother growing up, all while showering them with unconditional love and tons of hugs and kisses.

A mother-daughter bond is a beautiful thing, and I will continue to work at it, to make it as strong a bond with my daughters, as I have a bond with my mother.  This would make a great book for a new or expectant mom of a little girl -- just be forewarned -- it made me tear up the first few times I read it as a new mom.  I couldn't believe I had my own little girl cuddling next to me, and staring up at me with her big, brown eyes, thinking I could do no wrong.  

About the Author and Illustrator:

Lesléa Newman is the author of fifty books for adults and children, including Abrams’ Eight Nights of Chanukah. She has received many literary awards, including poetry fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  

Julia Gorton is the illustrator and designer of many books for children, including Abrams’ Score! 50 Poems to Motivate and Inspire. She teaches design at Parsons the New School for Design and lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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