Author: Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (February 27, 2007)
Audience: ages 4 and up
Summary: A simple yet powerful book that shares a mother’s love as she watches her child grow up and become a mother of her own. McGhee has captured the deep emotion that a mother feels as she holds her baby girl for the first time, holds her hand crossing the street, feels her joy, comforts her pain, says goodbye as she leaves for college, and shares the joy of motherhood for herself.
Literary elements at work in the story: Written in simple lines and illustrated with simple drawings, this book captures the quiet nature of a mother’s heart. It is this simplicity that brings forth emotion that is powerful and touching.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? This is a book about mothers and daughters and the love they share. While the illustrations show a white, middle-class pairing, the emotions elicited are shared by mothers from any culture. In fairness to McGhee, she has also created a parallel book for mothers of boys entitled, Little Boy. Both books would be marvelous to use in celebrating Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any day you want to celebrate the relationship we have with God!
Theological Conversation Partners:What a marvelous parent we have in God who knows us before we are born, claims us as God’s child, watches us as we grow, celebrates with us, cries with us, and allows us to make our own choices! The Psalmist celebrates the relationship with have with our parent God in Psalm 139 saying, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away…..For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Perhaps McGhee had this psalm in mind when she wrote, “Sometimes, when you sleep, I watch you dream, and I dream too…” God’s story – the Bible – is a story of the love and faithfulness of our God for us. “See what love God has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are!” (I John 3:1)
Faith Talk Questions:
- Name a time when you felt most loved by your mother (or someone who has been like a mother to you?) What did she do or say to make you feel loved?
- The fifth commandment that God gave Moses says, “Honor your father and mother…” (Exodus 20:12) How do you honor your parents? How do you celebrate the love shown to you by your parents (or those who have been like parents to you?)
- How do you know God loves you?
- I John 4:19 reminds us “we love because God first loved us.” How can you share God’s love with others?
This review is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Krista Lovell.
Someday by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.