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MAMA by Jeanette Winter


a TRUE story, in which a BABY HIPPO loses his MAMA during a TSUNAMI, but finds a new home, and a new MAMA.

by Jeanette Winter & illustrated by Jeanette Winter

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-15-205495-2
Publisher: Harcourt

With only two words, “Mama” and “Baby,” Winter tells a complete story in richly colored and patterned acrylics. A mother and baby hippopotamus feed, swim and bond blissfully, until they are swept apart in a great ocean wave—a tsunami. Rescuers bring the lost and frightened young one to a game preserve, where he immediately bonds with an ancient male giant tortoise (“Mama . . .”; “. . . Baby”). Using a true story from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Winter has fashioned a powerful message of fear, release and solace in tragedy. Her dramatic images are reminiscent of Persian miniatures, the most harrowing experiences rendered exquisitely. In this case, the baby’s face registers emotions not quite hippo-like (do hippos shed tears of sorrow?), but that seems beside the point in what will be a sentimental favorite sure to attract a huge audience. (Picture book. 4-7)