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Mama Loves Me From Away

by Pat Brisson
Illustrated by Laurie Caple

Published by Boyds Mills Press, 2004
32 pages
ISBN: 1-56397-966-7

Ages 5 - 9

“My birthday is Mama’s birthday, too. ‘You’re the best present I ever had,’ she always told me. ‘Tell me again,’ I’d say.” One of the rituals that has marked a young girl’s warm, loving relationship with her mother are the stories Mama tells about her past. A sensitive picture book about a child whose mother is in prison focuses on the child’s sadness as their shared birthday approaches. Even though she can visit Mama, the girl knows it won’t be the same. Grammy warns her not to expect a present. “I knew there were no stores, but I couldn’t imagine a birthday without a present from Mama.” At the prison, however, there are two surprises: if she closes her eyes while her mother tells the story of her birth, “I could pretend it was just Mama and me.” And it turns out her mother does have a gift for her after all: she has written down one story for each night of the week, so that they can share them “across the miles.” Pat Brisson’ s graceful, restrained text and Laurie Caple’s warm illustrations reflect the heartache of many children and parents who must love each other across the miles. (Ages 5-9)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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