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A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR MAMA by Lauren Thompson

A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR MAMA

By Lauren Thompson (Author) , Jim Burke (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-590-30725-8
Publisher: Scholastic

Thompson borrows the plot structure of O. Henry’s Christmas classic, “The Gift of the Magi,” for this sentimental story, set in the 1920s, about a little girl named Grace and her mother. They are living in “reduced circumstances,” due to the death of Grace’s father, and they’ve had to sell most of their belongings to pay living expenses. Grace and her mother each sell their most treasured remaining possession to buy the other a Christmas gift as a surprise. Grace trades her only doll for a china figurine of a gentleman to pair up with her mother’s treasured figurine of a dancing lady. The mother sells her figurine to buy Grace a new dress for her doll. Both are cheered by the sacrifice of the other, and Christmas morning finds them more accepting of their loss and grateful for their strong mother-daughter bond. Burke illustrates the story with full-page oil paintings in muted tones and shadowy light that illuminate the stark lifestyle of Grace and her mother. Probably best for family reading, since there are pages and pages of text without illustrations. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)