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Read for Me, Mama Hardcover – February 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Thursday is library day. It's Joseph's favorite day of the week, partly because the librarian, Mrs. Ricardo, reads such great stories and partly because he can take two books home, one easy and one hard. While Joseph's mom--a busy single working mother--has a knack for storytelling (even making geraniums and empty lots sound exciting), she always manages to sidestep her son's requests to read the "hard book" to him. The truth comes out in church, where she decides it's time to learn to read, then actually does so with the help of her son. This compassionate story, illustrated with warm, richly colored oil paintings, addresses the issue of adult literacy in a gentle, hopeful way. Vashanti Rahaman--author of O Christmas Tree and A Little Salmon for Witness--is a frequent contributor to Cricket and Highlights for Children. Lori McElrath-Eslick illustrated Nancy White-Carlstrom's Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? and I Am Christmas. (Ages 6 to 10)

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?Joseph loves Thursdays, for those are the days his class visits the school library. The librarian is the best reader in the world and Joseph gets to take two books home; an easy one for reading by himself and a harder one that someone can read to him. The most logical someone would seem to be Joseph's mother, but, even though she is the best storyteller in the world, she always seems to find an excuse not to read to him. One day, in church, Joseph learns the truth. His mother, sharing her prayer with the congregation, admits that she cannot read. Surprised but supportive, Joseph begins to read aloud to her, as well as to accompany her to an adult education class. Satisfying in its presentation and content, this book holds up favorably with such literacy-related titles as Muriel Stanek's My Mom Can't Read (Albert Whitman, 1986) and Delores Johnson's Papa's Stories (Macmillan, 1994). The oil paintings of the African-American boy and his mother are serviceable but somewhat uneven; the appearance of the mother in particular seems to vary from page to page.?Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press; 1st edition (February 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563973138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563973130
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,699,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Mama is a wonderful storyteller. You know the type- she paintsvivid word pictures, setting off each line with a gesture, a body orhand motion, a snatch of song. But Mama has a secret...
How would you feel if you couldn't read?
Mama has never told her small son her humiliating secret, but now he's learning to read and she won't be able to hide it much longer. What will Mama do? Told from a child's standpoint, this touching and delightful story for children will appeal to anyone who reads- or loves his mama.
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Format: Hardcover
I find myself in an awkward position. As a mom I review books that we have read (my children just turned 4 and 6 years of age: boy and girl) so that other parents or caregivers can get an idea of whether their own children might like a book. As such I have to give this book a 3-Star rating. Understand that it has a powerful story to tell, and beautiful artwork, but it was just not appreciated by my children... and therefore possibly will not be appreciated by your own.

Simply put, 4 and 6 years-of-age is too young to understand the implications of an adult not being able to read. [Especially if the adults in their lives read incessantly, as we do.] An older child, one who could actually read themselves, would understand better.

Three Stars. Not a good read-aloud. Not for younger children if my two are any indication. Writing style is a little `dry' even for older children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mom of 5 on April 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading this book to my class and opening up discussions on reading and the importance of literacy even for adults. One of my students loved this book so much that I had to order this copy for her so I can get my copy back!
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