Mama Says: A Book of Love for Moth­ers and Sons

Rob D. Walk­er; Leo and Diane Dil­lon, illus.
  • Review
By – January 9, 2012
Although this book has only one page that is nom­i­nal­ly Jew­ish,” the theme of love between par­ent and child and desire to make the world a bet­ter place is pro­found­ly Jew­ish. The illus­tra­tions are spec­tac­u­lar, with each one wor­thy of fram­ing. To help iden­ti­fy the dif­fer­ent eth­nic groups in the sto­ry, the illus­tra­tors choose a par­tic­u­lar piece of cloth with a dis­tinc­tive design to rep­re­sent each nation­al­i­ty. Chero­kee, Russ­ian, Amhar­ic, Japan­ese, Hin­di, Inuk­ti­tu­it, Hebrew, Eng­lish, Kore­an, Ara­bic, Quechua, and Dan­ish lan­guages are all used to express the mes­sage of love each child is giv­en by his moth­er. Although clothes and lan­guage dis­tin­guish each eth­nic­i­ty, the artists refrained from stereo­typ­ing the peo­ple por­trayed; how­ev­er, the cos­tumes of each char­ac­ter are more tra­di­tion­al than mod­ern dress. The Japan­ese woman is wear­ing a kimono, the Native Amer­i­can is wear­ing deer­skin, etc. This is a beau­ti­ful book that points out the wish­es and teach­ings that peo­ple every­where share with their children.
Susan Dubin was the first librar­i­an hon­ored with a Milken Fam­i­ly Foun­da­tion Jew­ish Edu­ca­tor Award. She is the owner/​director of Off-the-Shelf Library Ser­vices and library instruc­tion­al con­sul­tant at Val­ley Beth Shalom Day School in Enci­no, CA.

Discussion Questions