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Mama, Do You Love Me?

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Overview

Mama, do you love me? Yes I do Dear One. How much? In this universal story, a child tests the limits of independence and comfortingly learns that a parent's love is unconditional and everlasting. The story is made all the more captivating by its unusual Arctic setting. The lyrical text introduces young readers to a distinctively different culture, while at the same time showing that the special love that exists between parent and child transcends all boundaries of time and place. The story is beautifully ...

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Overview

Mama, do you love me? Yes I do Dear One. How much? In this universal story, a child tests the limits of independence and comfortingly learns that a parent's love is unconditional and everlasting. The story is made all the more captivating by its unusual Arctic setting. The lyrical text introduces young readers to a distinctively different culture, while at the same time showing that the special love that exists between parent and child transcends all boundaries of time and place. The story is beautifully complemented by graphically stunning illustrations that are filled with such exciting animals as whales, wolves, puffins, and sled dogs, and a carefully researched glossary provides additional information on Arctic life. This tender and reassuring book is one that both parents and children will turn to again and again.

A child living in the Arctic learns that a mother's love is unconditional.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The main characters in this story are an Inuit mother and child, but the title question is universal. This charming picture book answers the youngster's plea in the most reassuring ways, evoking examples from Arctic life that tickle our imaginations as well as our wits.
From the Publisher
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, Starred Review
A young girl asks how much her mother loves her, even when she is naughty, and receives warm, reassuring answers. The twist on this familiar theme is that the two are Inuits, and the text and pictures draw on their unique culture: "What if I put salmon in your parka, ermine in your mittens, and lemmings in your mukluks?" asks the girl. Two pages of back matter define and explain the functions of various terms in Inuit life past and present. Charming, vibrant watercolor illustrations expand the simple rhythmic text, adding to the characters' personalities and to the cultural information. Ceremonial masks appear in the corner of several pages and on the endpapers, a nice detail in a well-designed book.

THE HORN BOOK MAGAZINE, November 1991
"Mama, do you love me?" Every child in the world wants a reassuring answer, including this small Inuit girl in long-ago northern Alaska. In a series of questions and answers reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny(Harper), the child uses her imagination to test her mother's love. The answer is always a positive one, but the mother is also honest. " 'What if I put salmon in your parka, ermine in your mittens, and lemmings in your mukluks?' 'Then I would be angry.' 'What if I threw water at our lamp?' 'Then, Dear One, I would be very angry. But still, I would love you.'" The whale-oil lamp is pictured clearly, and its importance is explained in the two-page glossary at the end of the book: "The lamp in an Inuit home was never left untended because it was such a vital part of daily survival." The rounded, stylized watercolors are brightly appealing, full of humor and love. The small challenger stands with her hands on her hips looking way up at the tall, broad mother who has her hands on her hips; in another picture there is a huge hug which encompasses mother, girl, and doll in a mass of variously flowered dress fabric and black braids. The book is a beautiful combination of a rich culture and a universal theme.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, August 1991
"Yes I do, Dear One," answers the mother whose daughter asks her the question posed in the book's title. And how long will she love her child? "I will love you until the umiak flies into the darkness, till the stars turn to fish in the sky, and the puffin howls at the moon," responds the mother soothingly, employing images familiar to the Inuit people of Northern Alaska where this Iyrical story is set. Echoing the simplicity of Joosee's verse are Lavallee's stylized illustrations, which convey the austerity of the arctic landscape while depicting the bright, intricate patterns and textures of Inuit garb. A glossary of terms used in the text is included at the end of this striking volume, which uses a timeless culture to convey a timeless message.

PARENTS, December 1991
In a story reminiscent of the classic Ruraway Bunny, a child tests her mother's love: "What if I ran away?" she asks. "Then I would be worried," her mother answers."What if I turned into a polar bear, and I was the meanest bear you ever saw...and you cried?" says the girl. "Then I would be very surprised and very scared But still...I would love you" comes the reassuring reply. The arctic setting adds an intriguing dimension to a universal story.

This Book is a beautiful combination of a rich culture and a universal theme. The Horn Book

California's Children's Book Award

Publishers Weekly
A decade ago, PW called Barbara Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me?, illus. by Barbara Lavallee, "a striking volume which uses a timeless culture to convey a timeless message." Chronicle celebrates the book's success with a 10th anniversary commemorative edition that includes a fabric jacket and a limited edition print of mother and child. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The mother in this book portrays healthy unconditional love and acceptance and the bond she has with her child is respectful, honest and reassuring. Although it has an Arctic setting, it shows an appreciation for both the differences of culture and the universality of mother's love. The colors are vivid, the range of emotions broad, the wordplay rhythmic and the message honest. When Dear One, the child, asks "What if I put salmon in your parka, ermine in your mittens, and lemmings in your mukluks?" her mother answers: "Then I would be angry...but still I would love you." This repeated question-answer format shows a typical, playful, and fully conscious dialogue of love between a child and mother.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This book is set in the Arctic and is a love story between an Inuit mother and child. Mama tells her little one just how much she is loved by comparing her to the animals who love things dear to them. "I love you more than...the dog loves his tail, more than the whale loves his spout." The vibrant watercolor paintings of images of animals and patterns common in the far north are stunning. An excellent glossary of all the animals mentioned is included. A terrific gift book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877017592
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 6/1/1991
  • Series: Mama Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 59,691
  • Age range: 1 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Joosse is a full-time writer and mother. She lives with her family in a little stone house in Wisconsin. Ms. Joosse has a degree in journalism, but for the past 19 years she has devoted her time and talents to writing nearly twenty books for childr

Barbara Lavallee lives in Alaska. Her vibrant watercolor illustrations are well-known for their depictions of a wide range of Alaskan life.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    Wonderful, loving book!

    This is a modern classic and if you don't know it you should! It's wonderful! A good book is simple and artistic enough to keep a young child's attention, but offers something for older kids as they grow. This one does that. Each page has a couple of sentences where a child keeps asking if her mama will love her even if she is naughty or whatever. The mother responds that she always will. The child's what-ifs get more and more outlandish (What if I stuffed salmon in your coat.... turned into a scary polar bear) but the mother replies always with the gentle constant love, along with 'Then I'd be angry' or 'Then I'd be surprised'. It's cute enough you don't mind reading it again and again, and it's full of Inuit culture. At the end, there is a glossary teaching you the Inuit words and animals used in the book. The love and humor will make it a favorite for children over many years, plus it's a great learning tool and plain old sweet. The art is fantastic too. I consider it a must-have!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 14, 2012

    Highly recommend

    This has always been on elf my favorite books. I love the illustrations and the sentiment. My 23 year old daughter still says to me"Mama, do you love me?" And I recite teh lines "...more than a dog loves its tail,...etc"

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Valentine "card-book" for adult children

    Just another reminder by Barbara M Joosse that "agape love is unconditional"!
    There is not one thing my children can do to cause me not to love them. I don't always 'like' their choices, but would lay down my life for them in a heart beat.
    Mama, Do You Love Me? is an excellent way to tell anyone that they are loved . . . in spite of themselves!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    Great book for toddlers

    My daughter is 2 and we really enjoy reading this book. I love that it teaches her another culture and that she repeats words she would otherwise likely not hear. The story is great. We have read the Papa version at the library and don't care for that one at all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    Love this book!

    This book is a favorite with my daughters. What kid doesn't like to hear over and over how much you love them no matter what! I am quoting this book for my daughter's high school graduation dedication. "I will love you forever and for always because you are my dear one!"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2007

    Wonderful book.

    I discovered this book when we first moved to Alaska. Barbara Lavellee's illustrations are beautiful. The story is beautiful. Our kids LOVE the book. It quickly became our standard baby gift for friends in the Lower 48!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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