Friday, May 10, 2013
Me and Momma and Big John
by Mara Rockliff
illus. by William Low
32 pages; 3-7 years
themes: family, beauty, being part of something bigger than yourself
"Momma's first day on the job, she comes home late, trudging up the stairs as if they laid that heavy stone right on her shoulders. She is gray as ashes, from her headscarf to her boots..."
Momma is a stonecutter, helping build the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in NYC. She works for weeks on a single stone, and when she and her son, John, finally visit the Cathedral, he can't see the stone. But he does see the beauty of the stained glass, hears soaring music filling the Cathedral, and gets to meet the other stone cutters. In the end he decides it's OK if other people don't know which stone is Momma's - because he'll know. It's one of the stones high above the people, touching the sky.
Beyond the Book
Take a virtual "architecture tour" of St. John the Divine. You'll see images of construction, interior chapels, columns, and more.
Part of the beauty of Cathedrals is the light within. Illustrator William Low captures that light and beauty in his paintings. You can, too - create tissue paper stained glass to hang in your window.
There might be gargoyles on the Cathedral. You can make your own gargoyle with a paper plate and some other materials from around your house.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.