From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Lucy spends her days with her mother, brother, and grandmother. She shares a special bond with Little Mamá that begins with a morning tickle and ends with a song and a kiss goodnight. In between, their day is filled with dancing, skipping, cooking, eating, and stories of Mexico. The elderly woman may forget everyday things like names, places, and directions but she always remembers her love for Lucy. The topic of Little Mamá's forgetfulness is dealt with in a realistic, but child-focused manner. Cruise uses the text repetition of Little Mamá forgets… and my little mamá
remembers… to provide a framework for her story. This gives it balance and offers reassurance and hope to readers. A liberal splashing of Spanish words appears throughout. Dressen-McQueen's Mexican folk-style illustrations are enhanced by her use of bold colors including pink, red, orange, brown, and blue. They capture the feel and texture of Hispanic culture but never overwhelm the story or the characters. The universal themes of love and family dominate this tender, heartfelt story.–Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Swirls of movement and color are the happy backdrop for a story that might have been sad. Little Mama, Lucy's grandmother, is losing her memory. Sometimes the toast burns, and sometimes she can't remember how to tie her shoes. But as Lucy explains, there still many things that joyously involve her grandmother in life. The text employs a rhythmic balance. After recounting a flurry of activity in which an element of forgetfulness occurs, Lucy describes something her grandmother does recall. Little Mama brushes her hair 100 strokes, even though Lucy must show her anew each night how to brush her teeth. The story is bittersweet, but Lucy's ability to look on the bright side, and the obvious love that she and Little Mama share, wrap the events in affection and warmth. Dressen-McQueen's artwork is outstanding. The Mexican family, living in East Los Angeles, comes alive in pictures that show the vibrancy of the happy household. Inspired by Mexican tiles, Dressen-McQueen dusts everything--tables, shawls, upholstery--with decorative designs. The spread showing Little Mama and Lucy dancing as the old woman's decorated skirt twirls across the page lifts readers up. The colors are south-of-the-border bright, adding to the inspirational feeling. Children won't forget this. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved