Mama's Way

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When Wynona sees a beautiful dress in a store window, she has to have it. But, although Wynona's mother works hard to support her three children, there's never any money left over for luxuries-not even for special occasions like her daughter's sixth-grade graduation. Will Wynona be forced to wear a friend's old hand-me-down dress, or will her mother find a way to grant her daughter's wish?

Mary Whyte's heartfelt paintings perfectly complement ...
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Overview

When Wynona sees a beautiful dress in a store window, she has to have it. But, although Wynona's mother works hard to support her three children, there's never any money left over for luxuries-not even for special occasions like her daughter's sixth-grade graduation. Will Wynona be forced to wear a friend's old hand-me-down dress, or will her mother find a way to grant her daughter's wish?

Mary Whyte's heartfelt paintings perfectly complement Helen Ketteman's lyrical story about the true meaning of generosity and a mother's love.

Wynona longs for a beautiful new dress to wear to her graduation from sixth grade, even though she knows that her mama cannot afford to buy one for her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ketteman's (I Remember Papa) tale of a girl whose reluctant generosity is rewarded may be predictable, but it is still uplifting. Wynona's sixth-grade graduation is coming up, but money is tight. So when her friend Sarah offers her a hand-me-down, Wynona is grateful--until she sees Sarah's brand-new dress, which Sarah has brought to Wynona's mother, a seamstress, to hem. "I looked at the two dresses hanging together," says Wynona. "Somehow, the old one didn't seem so pretty anymore." Wynona turns sullen as she performs household chores and baby-sits her younger brothers, until her mother gives her money for the new dress Wynona has spied in a shop window. When one of her brother's breaks his wrist, Wynona sacrifices her dress money for the hospital bill. Ketteman credibly charts Wynona's growth, as she rises above self-centeredness into a sympathetic character. The author ably outlines both the friction and the underlying love between mother and daughter, while Whyte's expressive watercolor portraits add both softness and substance to the contemporary setting. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-The struggles of a single mother who supports her three children by sewing and cleaning houses are poignantly portrayed in this picture book. Wynona loves pretty clothes and especially longs for a fancy white dress for her sixth-grade graduation, but the family's finances make purchasing such luxuries difficult. She fears she will have to settle for a hand-me-down dress from a friend rather than the gorgeous creation she has seen in a dress shop. When her mother surprises her a week before graduation with the money for a new dress, the girl is overcome by both elation and guilt. Her euphoria doesn't outlast the day, though, because her brother breaks his arm and, in a selfless act, she returns the money to help cover his medical expenses. Her mother, however, still manages to make graduation a special day in her own inimitable fashion-Mama's way. Gentle, realistic watercolor washes imbued with warm hues effectively convey the emotions of this loving family vignette. What might have been a saccharine story is instead a heartfelt depiction of single parenthood and a strong bond between a mother and daughter.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Although the lesson is writ pretty large here, it is one worth learning, and it's in a lovely package. Wynona's mom cleans houses and sews to support her three children, but there's never any money left for extras. With sixth-grade graduation approaching, Wynona longs for a new dress, even though a friend has tactfully given her one she's outgrown. A new dress turns into an obsession, and Wynona begs and pleads and carries on. When Mama presents her with the money for it at last, Wynona recognizes what it cost her mother in time and effort. An unexpected emergency presents Wynona with the opportunity to give back, however, and she finds that Mama has altered the hand-me-down to make it fresh and new and beautiful. The watercolor illustrations are sunlit-clear and full of warm colors; Wynona's family, in their chinos and t-shirts, has a contemporary look and feel, and her blonde Mama has the soft, careworn face of a young woman who works hard. The story might also work well with readers older than traditional picture-book audiences. (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803724136
  • Publisher: Dial
  • Publication date: 3/1/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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