Happy Mother’s Day
In honor of upcoming Mother’s Day, I’ve selected 3 new picture books illustrating the joys and sorrows of motherhood.
A Thirst for Home: A Story of Water across the World by Christine Leronimo covers a lot of ground, both geographically and subject-wise. The story is told by a young girl from Ethiopia named Alemitu whose mother decides to give her up in hopes of a better life for Alemitu. Fortunately she is adopted into a new family in a new country and gets a new name, Eva. As she adapts to her new world, we learn of the contrasts between Eva’s previous life and new life. In Ethiopia she and her mother walked for miles every day for water while now it comes out of a faucet, cold and clean. Before she worked hours gathering fire wood and now her job is to go to school. The story is intended to bring attention to the importance of clean drinking water and the poor conditions in Ethiopia, but is it also a story of a mother’s love. (9780802723086. 2014. Gr 1-4.)
Sprout Helps Out by Rosie Winstead truly exemplifies “ it’s the thought that counts”. Sprout, a resourceful young girl, is more than willing to help her mother around the house. She helps with everything from house cleaning and yard work to keeping an eye on her baby sister. When Sprout helps brush the dog’s teeth, she remembers to return her mother’s toothbrush to its proper spot. Sprout’s laid-back mother is able to take all this help in stride. Adding to the humorous tone of book are Winstead’s delightful illustrations. Her witty drawings may depict a chaotic, messy home but it is a happy home nonetheless. (9780803730724. 2014. PS-K. )
A Mom for Umande by Maria Faulconer is another story about adoption, but in this case the baby is a male gorilla in search of a new mother. This is a true story; Umande was born in a zoo in Colorado Springs and eventually finds a loving home with Lulu, a mature female gorilla in the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. The dispirited beginning of the story has Umande being ignored at birth by his young mother who was not at all nurturing. Zookeepers step in to care for Umande and attempt to teach him how to act like a gorilla, until they found a new home for him in Columbus. This is both a heart-warming story of motherly love as it is informative on animal behavior. (9780803737624. 2014. PS-Gr2.)