Mama Loves Me From Away

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is a warm and thoughtful addition to the all-too-tiny collection of books about children who have a parent in prison. A little girl named Sugar lives with her grandmother while her mother is serving time. We never learn the nature of her mother's crime although we see mother and daughter together before she "went away and everything changed." There are visiting days when "Mama holds me close and brushes my hair" but Sugar is worried about her upcoming birthday: "I couldn't imagine a birthday without a present from Mama." When the birthday visit finally comes, Mama has written a notebook for Sugar filled with the stories they used to share every night of the week. It is a touching story of a strong relationship between mother and daughter that is able to survive a prison term. The illustrations are filled with emotion and color, with appealing detail when Sugar is coloring a card to send her mother. Illustrator Laurie Caple visited a women's prison in Alabama to add accuracy to her pictures of the prison visits. This is excellent reading for children who share Sugar's plight as well as for those who need to be empathetic to it. 2004, Boyds Mills Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The relationship between a mother and daughter is pushed to its limits when Mama is incarcerated. Sugar clings to the memory of her mother's stories and lives for her weekly visits to the prison when her grandmother is feeling up to the bus ride. On their shared birthday, Mama gives Sugar a special gift and a special way to feel close to her. Although this may be an issue that needs to be addressed, and although there is an audience for whom this story may be appropriate, the text and artwork present some problems. While the book does not go so far as to glorify imprisonment, it certainly does not present a realistic view of an extremely difficult way of life and the challenges it presents in maintaining a relationship with a child. In an attempt to emphasize the enduring bond between mother and daughter, the writing is often clich d and the illustrations seem to exhibit an unnatural, idealistic brightness. The word "prison" is never mentioned, and the character of Big Roger is never clearly identified, possibly leaving young readers with more questions than answers about a very sensitive issue.-Holly T. Sneeringer, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Separated by a prison sentence, a child and her mother find ways to stay connected in this affecting story. Sugar and Mama are extremely close. They share the same birthday and love to spend time together telling stories. But life takes an unexpected turn when Mama is incarcerated-Brisson doesn't give details, but all readers need to know is revealed in Sugar's eyes. Caple's realistic watercolors focus on the child's face, portraying a sense of deep sadness, confusion, and loss. What emerges is a story of triumph over adversity, a non-judgmental look at life rocked by unfortunate events and how people cope under difficult circumstances. Young readers will empathize with Sugar; those in the same situation will no doubt be comforted. (Picture book. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563979668
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Brisson is a winner of a Christopher Award for The Summer My Father Was Ten and has written a number of books for children. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

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