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What’s Special About Me, Mama?

May 11, 2011

Mother’s Day snuck up on me so this post is a bit late. Despite that I’m a week off, I wanted you to know about a beautiful, new mommy-themed picture book that I’m loving — good for any time of year. I suspect it will be a Caldecott nomination, don’t you?

What’s Special About Me, Mama?
written by Kristina Evans, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Disney Jump to the Sun, 2011
picture book

Don’t miss this book. The story is sweet and empowering for all children who want to know they’re loved and why with fantastic collage illustrations.

A little boy asks his mommy to tell him all the ways he is special, and she does.

Your skin, Love, and the way the colors blend together to create the most BEAUTIFUL autumn earth.”

To which the little boy replies, “But Daddy and I have the same color skin . . . . What’s special about me?

She lovingly shares his specialness throughout the book even as he asks for more. It’s rich with intimacy and knowing.

She ends with, “What’s special about you, Love, is that you are LOVED more than ANYBODY in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD — by me!

The textured collage illustrations will blow you away. Can you tell just from the cover art? The artist is Javaka Steptoe. In an interview with Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Steptoe says, “I use collage because it draws people in. It is an interactive guessing game adding another layer of meaning to the book.”

Book Play: After you read this book, tell your child all the ways he or she is special to you. Then, see if you can make your own collage art. Artists Helping Children offers step by step directions for several different projects.

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