Papa, Do You Love Me?


This follow-up to the best-selling Mama, Do You Love Me? (over one million copies sold in 15 languages!) captures the universal love between a father and child. Set in Africa and featuring the Maasai culture, the beautiful watercolor illustrations, lyrical text, and enduring message are sure to make this another instant classic.

When a Masai father in Africa answers his son's questions, the boy learns that his father's love for him ...

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This follow-up to the best-selling Mama, Do You Love Me? (over one million copies sold in 15 languages!) captures the universal love between a father and child. Set in Africa and featuring the Maasai culture, the beautiful watercolor illustrations, lyrical text, and enduring message are sure to make this another instant classic.

When a Masai father in Africa answers his son's questions, the boy learns that his father's love for him is unconditional.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Featuring a dramatically different setting from the collaborators' Mama, Do You Love Me?, which centers on an Alaskan Inuit mother and daughter, this warmhearted companion introduces a Maasai boy and his father on the Serengeti. Like the young protagonist of the earlier book, this curious child verbally tests the limits of his parent's love, which is-words and art convincingly reinforce-boundless. Addressing his child as Tender Heart, the father incorporates references to Maasai culture as he answers his son: "I love you more than the warrior loves to leap, more than the bush baby loves the moon, more than the elder loves his stories." Local terms (explained in a glossary) come into play as the lad's questions become more specific. What if, as herd boy, one night he overate and fell asleep and hyenas crept in and stole his birthright cow? The father's articulate responses reassure the child that he will always be there to help his son-and to teach him. Echoing the soothing rhythm of the poetic narrative, Lavallee's graceful watercolors feature a harmoniously balanced palette, setting the bold hues and patterns of traditional Maasai clothing against the variegated blues of the sky, the pale tones of the plain and the natural markings of African animals. This vividly depicted setting underscores the universality of the book's message. Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a companion book to the author's and illustrator's Mama Do You Love Me? While their first book found an Inuit girl seeking maternal reassurance, this book is about a young Maasai boy asking his father penetrating questions to be certain of his love. Joosse's language is drawn from the culture and the environment. The father describes the bigness of his love for his "Tenderheart" boy as "more than the warrior loves to leap" and as long as "the Serengeti rolls to the sky." The child then poses more pointed questions. Would he still be loved in heat and thirst and hunger and misbehavior? Each answer is gentle, tender, soothing, and rhythmic enough to lull a child of any culture to sleep. Illustrator Barbara Lavallee catches the vibrancy of costuming, country, and calm. 2005, Chronicle, Ages 2 to 5.
—Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This title follows the format of Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991). In Papa, a Maasai father reassures his young son that his love is unconditional and endless. In answer to his son's questions, he explains that he will always protect the boy from the dangers of the Serengeti Plain and teaches him how to find water in their harsh environment. A glossary elaborates on the concepts introduced, such as the importance of cattle in Maasai life, medicinal uses of the Greenheart tree, and the role of the herd boy. The bright, stylized watercolors reflect the warm hues of the Serengeti. Details are clearly rendered, allowing children to visualize life in a culture different from their own. The father's red robe sweeps across much of the book, wrapping his small son in its protective embrace. Parents will snatch up this tender, reassuring book for bedtime read-alouds. Teachers of early elementary students may wish to use it as an introduction to the life of the Maasai.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A pendant and companion to this duo's beloved Mama, Do You Love Me? (1991). While the gorgeous and glowing colors of the Maasai in Africa are very different from the Alaskan setting of the first book, the universality and beautiful emotional rhythms of the story remain the same. A boy asks his father the question of the title, and his father replies, "You came from your mama, whom I love, your grandpapas and grandmamas, whom I honor . . . You are my Tender Heart, and I love you." The boy asks, how long, and what would you do if it were hot, and what if I was afraid, and the father responds each time in deep rumbling tenderness: He will love his boy as long as "the Serengeti rolls to the sky," he would stretch out his blanket for shade, he would hold his son. The pictures are rich in tone and hue, expressive line and expansive gesture: Repeated motifs of textile and bead patterns, wild animal groups and a splendid curvilinear tree echo and support the text. Sure to be another bestseller. (glossary) (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811842655
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 4/21/2005
  • Series: Mama Series
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 266,146
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.87 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara M. Joosse lives in a small stone house beside a wide creek in Wisconsin. She visited schools in Kenya and Uganda in 1997, and the Maasai and their tenderness toward their children planted a seed in her heart that grew into the idea for this book. This is her twenty-eighth book for children.

Barbara Lavallee's vibrant watercolor illustrations are known around the world, especially in Alaska where she lives. Ms. Lavallee has illustrated many books for children, including This Place is Wild: East Africa by Vicki Cobb. She has twice visited Afric

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  • Posted April 24, 2012


    Set in Africa, this book is full of cultural references and style. Not to worry, though, there is a glossary in the back that explains any unfamiliar words and activities. The illustrations are simple but colourful and engaging. The story of a young boy asking if his papa would still love him in a number of situations transcends cultures and all children will be able to relate to the feelings expressed. A fun and heartwarming story with the added benefit of teaching about African culture.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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