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Mama, Do You Love Me?
Mama, Do You Love Me?
by Barbara M. Joosse
Illustration by Barbara Lavallee

"Mama, do you love me? Yes I do Dear One. How much?" In this universal story, a child tests the limits of independence and comfortingly learns that a parent's love is unconditional and everlasting. The story is made all the more captivating by its unusual Arctic setting. The lyrical text introduces young readers to a distinctively different culture, while at the same time showing that the special love that exists between parent and child transcends all boundaries of time and place. The story is beautifully complemented by graphically stunning illustrations that are filled with such exciting animals as whales, wolves, puffins, and sled dogs, and a carefully researched glossary provides additional information on Arctic life. This tender and reassuring book is one that both parents and children will turn to again and again.
 
Also available in board book format.
Age: 2 Year-olds | Title: Mama, Do You Love Me?  |  Author: Barbara M. Joosse  |  Publisher: Chronicle Books
"Mama, do you love me? Yes I do Dear One. How much?" In this universal story, a child tests the limits of independence and comfortingly learns that a parent's love is unconditional and everlasting. The story is made all the more captivating by its unusual Arctic setting. The lyrical text introduces young readers to a distinctively different culture, while at the same time showing that the special love that exists between parent and child transcends all boundaries of time and place. The story is beautifully complemented by graphically stunning illustrations that are filled with such exciting animals as whales, wolves, puffins, and sled dogs, and a carefully researched glossary provides additional information on Arctic life. This tender and reassuring book is one that both parents and children will turn to again and again.
 
Also available in board book format.

Barbara Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me? is a sweet story of a small Inuit girl wondering if her Mama would really love her no matter what, so she poses a variety of instances - some realistic, many not - to see what her Mama says. The entire story is dialogue between a small Inuit girl and her mother. There are not quotes to indicate when one speaker stops and the other picks up, but their voices are distinct enough that it is always clear who is speaking. The water color pictures show large and robust characters with faces half-white and half-brown, decked out with vibrantly colored and heavily patterned clothing. The pictures contain many animals specific to Alaska and the Arctic, such as a sled dog, whale, puffin, musk-ox, lemmings, and more. There are also many new Inuit words for your little one to learn, like "umiak", "parka", and "mukluks."

The little girl gets more and more imaginative in the scenarios that she gives her mother to see if her mother would still love her; "What if I turned into a musk-ox...what if I turned into a walrus?" Your little one may have already played this game with you before, but if not, be ready for them to try. It is always fun to tell them just how much you love them. All of the culture references within the text also encourage discussion and interpretation about what those animals and objects are. The final two pages have full explanations of all the animals and items from the story that are related to the Inuit culture, so you may educate your child and answer their questions accurately.

I had a great time reading this book to my friend, Molly, because she is so inquisitive and seemed to just soak up all the new information about Alaska and the Inuits. She wanted to know if it's really like the pictures in Alaska. I told her yes, it is, for some Inuits in Alaska - but not everyone. Molly said the clothing was pretty and the type of thing she wants to wear. She asked if she could be an Inuit when she grew up.

--Audra

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