Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Brooke Dyer
Publisher: Harper Collins
Audience: Ages 5-7
Summary: This story begins as a mama bird tucks her babies in and leaves the nest to find food. She reassures them that “mama always comes home.” The story continues as a series of other mama animals remind their babies that they will indeed return. The story ends with a mother and her son as she tells him that she will always come home to him.
Literary elements at work in the story: The theme of this story is the fact that a parent will always return to her child even though the child may be frightened about the parent leaving. The theme of the story is very thoughtful and could be comforting to a child who is fearful of being separated from a parent. However I do believe that some caution should be used when reading this story. It would not be appropriate for a child who does not have a supportive and nurturing parent in their life. Also if a child has lost a parent due to death, this book could be misleading in the fact that it says “mama always comes home.” For that reason I have chosen to focus the scripture and theology on the fact that God is always with us even when we may have to be separated from an earthly parent or someone who loves and cares about us here.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic ability: The majority of this book focuses on mother animals and their babies so there are no perspectives on these issues. There are two places in the story where humans appear in the illustrations. In the first a boy is with his dog. The second is at the conclusion of the story when a mother and her son are together. All these illustrations feature Caucasian characters.
Scripture: Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 136:1-9
Theology: Although there may be circumstances that will separate you from an earthly parent there is absolutely nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ.
The love of God will always be there for us no matter what. It is steadfast and unending.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why are the baby birds at the beginning of the story afraid?
- How do the mothers in this story give reassurance?
- Why do you think that baby animals and small children want to be with their mothers or fathers most of the time?
- How does it feel when someone you love very much is with you? When they go away?
- How do each of the animals and the little boy in the story feel when their mothers return?
- What do you think it means when the Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from God?
Review prepared by Union-PSCE alumna Marcia A. Rauch
Mama Always Comes Home by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.