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A Gift for Mama Hardcover – March 25, 2014


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385753314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385753319
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2—In this lovely, circular story set in 19th-century Vienna, Oskar searches for the perfect gift for his mother, armed with a single coin. Each time he acquires a gift, starting with a perfect yellow rose, he meets someone who convinces him to trade it for something else. Finally, the day is over, and he is back where he started. In the concluding paragraph, Lodding states that most of the people Oskar meets are important figures from Viennese history-Gustav Klimt, Felix Salten, Johann Strauss II, and Empress Sisi-and that this is Vienna's story as well as Oskar's. The narrative is well written and satisfying to read aloud. Jay's crackle-glazed paintings are as dreamily beautiful as ever, masterfully composed, and full of interesting details. Unfortunately, in this case, the soft surrealism of her landscapes works against her revelation that the story is meant to be firmly rooted in the city's history. While the text and illustrations are wonderful in their own right, it is a shame that the historical connections really only exist in the author's note. Whether or not an opportunity was lost, this is a lovely and successful book about optimism, giving, and love. Purchase without hesitation.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

From Booklist

The search for the perfect present is a tried-and-true storybook conceit, and it is given an enchanting twist in Lodding’s tale, as readers journey through old Vienna along with Oskar, meeting the artists, musicians, writers, and royalty who made the fin de siècle era unique. It all starts with the perfect present for Mama’s birthday: a yellow rose that young Oskar is persuaded to trade for a paintbrush. More trades follow, each seemingly more interesting until finally Oskar seems to wind up empty-handed after handing a forlorn girl his final treasure, a box of candied violets given to him by the empress herself. But wait—truly what goes around comes around when the little girl hands him the rose she was wearing in her hair. Jay’s illustrations feature the warmly aged, crackled surface of an ancient painting and the kindly ovoid bodies that have become her trademark. As an introduction to a special time and place, Lodding’s unique offering will prove a treat for sensitive, imaginative readers. Grades K-2. --Karen Cruze

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Great book that shows the love of a child for his Mother!
Illust8
This richly-illustrated picture book, written by Linda Ravin Lodding, and featuring the beautiful, crackle-glazed artwork of Alison Jay is a joy to read and behold.
Z Hayes
My 10-year old son, who still loves picture books (much like HIS mama) also loved it.
K. Macpherson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This richly-illustrated picture book, written by Linda Ravin Lodding, and featuring the beautiful, crackle-glazed artwork of Alison Jay is a joy to read and behold. The story is perfect for celebrating mothers: a young boy named Oskar wanders around the streets of old Vienna looking for the perfect birthday gift for his beloved Mama. Oskar only has one coin and he finds the most beautiful single rose in full bloom. He is happy, thinking his mother will definitely love his gift, until he encounters a painter who cajoles Oskar into trading his lovely rose for a beautiful horsehair paintbrush. Oskar is at first reluctant but relents when he thinks he can use the brush to paint his mother a beautiful painting.

Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned. Oskar keeps meeting people who persuade him to trade his object with another, until finally he has nothing left. What is the poor boy to do? The moral of this sweetly told tale is of course that the best gifts in the world are gifts from the heart. This would make a wonderful story to share on Mother's Day, birthdays, and just about any day!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Harkish on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A lovely book for kids, and their parents. Fantastic illustrations and a story that kept my sons asking for it to be read again and again. As a bonus, if you have spent any time in Vienna, this book brings back the sights and memories of a place that has changed remarkably little over the decades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harold House on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have 4 grand daughters, two of whom had recent birthdays, and Linda's book was terrific. We were able to talk about an "old town" in Europe, listen to some music (waltzes mostly but they are young and love to dance - Mozart will wait), and talk about good things. The book not only allows for that, it seems to encourage some very healthy day dreaming.

I've know Linda for years and years. She is certainly one of the brightest bulbs on any tree and her obvious ability to talk to kids just shines through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sara VINE VOICE on March 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In A GIFT FOR MAMA a kind young boy searches the streets of Vienna for the perfect birthday gift for his mother. When he sees a gorgeous yellow rose, he knows he has found the perfect gift for his mother, but a series of chance meetings cause the boy to trade away the rose and each gift he chooses to those in greater need. A beautifully illustrated read aloud story with lessons of kindness and love, A GIFT FOR MAMA is sure to enchant.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful book, which totally engrossed my four-year-old grandson, his mother, and me as well! Probably not as well understood for most children under the age of four and some of the language which my daughter and I found to be so euphonious had to be explained to my four-year old grandson. But, the pictures are lovely, the text is touching, and the message makes a listener of any age smile. I highly recommend this book to everyone. If your child is under four....buy the book and save it for later. This one's a complete keeper.
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Format: Hardcover
I absolutely loved this book. Heartwarming story, gorgeous photos and a timeless tale that every mama ( grandmama, dad, grandparent or someone who simply loves a child) will adore. I want to share this book with all my mama friends.
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