Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Just Like Mama Hardcover – April 1, 2010
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—A heartwarming book that reassures mothers that sometimes their children really do appreciate them. Each spread shows a woman and her daughter engaging in their daily activities. From hair combing to breakfast making to gardening and snuggling, nobody does it "just like Mama." The rhyming text is full of figurative language and charming details and is fluid when read aloud. The mother and daughter are definitely girly girls with a penchant for pink, flowers, and tea parties. The illustrations, with pastel-colored backgrounds, gardens, and lots of detail, highlight the cozy parent-child relationship. This title is definitely a great gift book, and it will circulate in public libraries as well. Mothers who read it will feel celebrated for all the things they do.—Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
About the Author
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Genre: Picture Book/ Realistic fiction
Social Issues: Gender roles & SES inclusivity
In Just Like Mama, author Leslea Newman writes about the relationship between a daughter and her mother. Newman carries the reader through a day of activities between these two characters, starting with a morning hug and apple pancakes then ending with spaghetti dinner and their nightly ritual. In this book, a theme was clearly established that no one does it better than mama in this daughter’s eyes. The daughter’s admiration is evident through not only the written words but also the illustrations drawn by Julia Gorton.
Overall, Newman does a fantastic job conveying the special bond between a mother and daughter. However, I would urge readers to think about possible implications that may arise. When looking at the cover critically, one notices how the illustrator chose to portray the two characters. On the cover page, Gorton depicts the mother and daughter wearing elegant clothes: dresses, pink floppy sun hats, and pearls. I would encourage readers to think about the message this picture conveys to young girls about how proper ladies dress. These outfits, on the cover page and throughout the book, may marginalize girls who don’t wish to dress in this way. Young readers may believe that in order to have this special relationship they too will have to look and dress like Gorton’s illustrations. Consequently, these images further perpetuate the notion that women and girls must dress in a certain way to truly be lady-like despite the book's original message being about mothers and daughters. While conveying the central theme is crucial, one must also be aware of other potential messages that arise and the impacts they can have on the reader.
Furthermore, when looking at this book critically, it depicts one type of mother-daughter relationship that could be potentially detrimental to girls in lower socioeconomic classes. The activities in the book, particularly the section where they’re having a tea party, tend to feature pastimes of higher socioeconomic standing. Lines like “served on a silver tray” highlight material objects that might not be available to individuals with limited resources. Furthermore, while it’s possible that these activities took place during a weekend or a day off, there was no mention of the mother working. Nowadays, when it’s common to have working mothers, there is potential that many girls may not feel connected to the story. If Newman were to have included a page where the daughter says “nobody has the work ethic just like Mama,” it could have easily connected to the theme to the reality of many of the readers. With this change, the book would incorporate aspects of a diverse array of mother-daughter relationships that would resonate with girls from all socioeconomic backgrounds.