Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mama Loves Me From Away

Brisson, Pat. 2004. MAMA LOVES ME FROM AWAY. Ill. By Laurie Caple. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press. ISBN 1563979667 [Suggested Grade Levels Pre-K – 3]

Sometimes children experience heartbreakingly difficult circumstances in their lives and few children's authors have the courage and the understanding to approach those subjects. Pat Brisson has constructed a beautiful and moving tale about a young girl and her mother who share the same birthday, but not the same house as her mother serves a prison sentence. We often decide that people in prison are just lowlifes, forgetting that everyone makes mistakes, even big ones. MAMA LOVES ME FROM AWAY is a poignant reminder that these are real people who often have families at home that they love and miss. Brisson wisely focuses less on the circumstances and more on what the girl and her mother do to try to maintain a sense of connectedness while they are apart. The book deals honestly with feelings of loneliness and separation, while maintaining a positive outlook, focusing on good memories and the hope that this difficult time will be over soon. Laurie Caple’s decidedly realistic illustrations are warm, beautiful and emotive, capturing private moments of sadness and joy with a gentle hand and loving attention to detail. While most people might view this book as something intended only to console children in similar situations, it can be a good tool for helping children understand the hardships that others face and serves as a beautiful picture of the love shared by mothers and daughters, no matter their circumstances.

An adult can discuss with children how people feel inside the prisons.
Children can draw and write their favorite stories that they share with their mommies.
They then can put those drawings and stories in a card and wrap it up in homemade wrapping paper for a nice Mother’s Day gift.
Children can also write their favorite stories as well as cards and letters and then the adult can mail them to the local women’s prison.

Other books by Pat Brisson that could be compared to this one:

By Melissa Neece

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