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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

A day for moms

May 8, 2009

This weekend is Mother's Day. I always thought of it as a holiday created by, well, by Hallmark.

But it's not. I learned that it has roots in a feisty woman named Anna Jarvis who wanted to honor her mother. And apparently mothers were celebrated even farther back in history.

I admit that I have a particular point of view; that any day and any celebration is better with a book.

Much lauded artists, Leo and Diane Dillon, introduce readers to mothers and children around the world in a stunningly illustrated book entitled Mama Says: A Book of Love for Mothers and Sons (Scholastic). The simple words of wisdom, written by Rob Walker, appear in English as well as Russian, Hebrew, Korean, and other languages. The words are universal but the images go places quite literally.

For younger children, My Mom and Me (Little Simon) celebrates what mothers and children enjoy sharing. It, too, presents families from different cultures and uses words from different languages.

And look for a new Martha Alexander book recently completed by James Rumford. In Max & the Dumb Flower Picture (Charlesbridge), preschooler Max rebels against coloring in the lines of a pre-drawn flower to give his mom for Mother's Day.

Here's to mothers and celebrations — and to books shared between moms ands kids.

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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox