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THE FIRST THING MY MAMA TOLD ME by Susan Marie Swanson

THE FIRST THING MY MAMA TOLD ME

By Susan Marie Swanson (Author) , Christine Davenier (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-201075-0
Publisher: Harcourt

Picture books abound about children’s identities and self-esteem, but this charmer takes a fresh approach and presents it in a child’s first-person voice. What Mama first told the little girl was her name and this becomes the device and unifying thread as she relates her special name memories from birth to age seven. The experiences are familiar: scribbling on the walls (and herself), eating pancake letters of her name, stomping it out in the snow, and having a coat hook in kindergarten with her name above it. Playful subtleties in both text and pictures incorporate a younger sister and the family dog, first seen as a puppy and always chewing or licking plates. What child hasn’t written her or his name everywhere including places she shouldn’t, or with a flashlight on a starlit sky? In a breezy style of colorful splashes of wash against ecru paper, pencil, ink, and pastel illustrations capture the moments, the childlike simplicity, the exuberance, and the warm family ties. Every child should have such satisfying childhood memories and pride of name as Lucy does. Perfectly intertwined story and pictures are tender and heartwarming and will prompt parents and children to recall their own similar celebrations. (Picture book. 4-7)