Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mama One, Mama Two

Author:  Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrator:  Ruth Lercher Bornstein
Published:  1982
I just finished a beautiful book!  It's not one I would have usually chosen because the cover did not appeal to me at first.  The title seemed interesting though.  Mama One, Mama Two is set in the fall or winter and in the bedroom of a little girl.  The girl, Maudie, has gone to see a baby that is crying and a woman enters with a bottle of milk.  They decide to take the baby to the bedroom and feed it while the woman tells the girl a story.  Maudie asks the woman to tell her about the story of Mama One and Mama Two. 

The colors in the story are soft so I noticed that as I read the book the sounds I heard seemed soft and quiet.  The girl and woman are talking late at night, a soft and quiet time.  The girl and the woman decide to tell the story of Mama One and Mama Two together. 

The story is of the girl, Maudie, and her mom, Mama One.  They are poor, but love each other and seem to have color and happiness in their lives. Mama One paints beautiful pictures of nature and sunsets.  One day Mama One becomes very unhappy and is no longer able to paint and care for the girl - she just sits in a dark room.  The pictures are gray and dark.  The little girl is forced to care for herself until a man comes, "Tom, who listens."  He is a social worker and talks to Mama One and Maudie about getting help.  I noticed that Mama One is sitting in front of a painting with a sunrise - this is a new day for both Maudie and Mama One.  That scene helped me realize that what is to come in the story will be positive.  (I was worried about a sad ending.) 

Mama One is taken to a place to get help and should be back by spring.  We then learn that the woman story-telling with Maudie is Mama Two, the foster Mom.  Maudie asks Mama Two, "When is spring?" and Mama Two responds, "Whenever Mama One comes home will be spring."  The picture in that scene is the same one that is on the cover.  The girl is sitting in a tree and is surrounded by flowers.  The flowers are like the ones her mother painted.  In front of Maudie, is a woman who is holding Maudie on the branch - supporting her so she doesn't fall.  It is impossible to tell if the woman supporting Maudie is Mama One or Mama Two, but either way you know that Maudie's life is supported by a caring adult and that color has returned to her life.  The story is hopeful and beautiful!

Check this book out from the library!

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