Monday, April 20, 2009

Listen to Mama: Mama Says: A Book of Love for Mothers and Sons by Rob D. Walker

The simple wisdom of mothers shared with their children is the premise of Ron Walker's just published Book Of Love For Mothers And Sons (Mama Says), breathtakingly illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon.

This generously-sized book offers double-page spreads of mothers and young sons from many cultures--Cherokee, Quechua, Hindi, Inuktitut, Korean, Arabic and Hebrew, to name a few. The colors are soft, yet strong, costumes and settings are delicately conceived and executed with exquisite detail, and the faces of the women and children are beautifully illuminated with a light of their own.

The text for each illustration is brief, almost terse, but rhythmical. In the page depicting the cover illustration, a Cherokee mother and small son celebrate the sun's return after a storm:

Mama says
be good.
Mama says
be kind.
Mama says
the rain will come,
but still the sun will shine.

An Ethiopian mother speaks her version of "Do your homework!" as her small son studies with her by lamplight:

Mama says
be strong.
Mama says
be bright.
Mama says
sometimes hard work
may keep you up at night.

In the only American portrayal, an African-American mother's advice seems a bit hackneyed:

Mama says
be on time.
Mama says
be neat.
Mama says
walk with pride,
and never drag your feet.

But in the Dillons' illustration, however, we see the child, neatly dressed in his little white shirt and tie, being escorted through a jeering crowd into a newly integrated school.

Simple words all of these are, but illuminated by the masterful art of Leo and Diane Dillon, they take on a certain depth that makes this book a stunning work, a natural for Mothers' Day, a good gift for mothers and for sons, too.

Mama says
help others,
and be the best
you can.
I listened to
what Mama said,
and now I am a man.

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  • Just sending out a request.... you don't know if you don't ask...

    Any chnace of a categories? I would to sift through your book posts but it's overwhelming. I was after books on nature for example....

    Big request, but hey, librarians enjoy organising right? lol

    By Blogger Mon, at 9:23 AM  

  • Mon,
    At the bottom of each blog is the word "Labels," which is Blogger's rudimentary form of a keyword or subject heading. If you put one of the labels, e.g., for this post, such as "Mothers and Sons" in the search line at the top left of the blog page (beside the white B logo (inside red square) and click on "Search" beside the entry line, you will get all of the posts with that label, plus many with the words "sons" or "mothers" as well.

    For nature subjects, you should limit your keyword a bit by using the search term "Animals," or "Reptiles," or "Mammals" or "Birds," etc. Other subjects could be "seasons," "weather," "climate," "ecology," "rocks," "nature science," etc. When you find a post that fits what you want, look at its assigned Labels and use those to find more like it.

    It's not as good a search engine as a good library catalog, but you can usually find what you need.

    By Blogger GTC, at 12:50 PM  

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