Mama, Do You Love Me?

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Written by Barbara Joosse  and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

This loving story tells the tale of an Inuit daughter who tests the limits of her independence and grapples with the idea of how much her mother loves her. The daughter begins by asking how much and how long her mother will love her. Her mother replies by making beautiful comparisons to Arctic animals such as a puffins, ravens, and wales. The daughter then begins to ask what if questions. The mother replies by telling the daughter what emotions she would feel if her daughter were to become a polar bear or throw water on their lamp. In the end the mother’s patience may have been tested but she always reassures her daughter that a parent’s love is unconditionally and forever.

The book brings you into the Arctic world with beautiful illustrations of mukluks, puffins, and ptarmigan eggs. Although readers may not be familiar with the terminology of this book, the annotated glossary at the end of the story provides that extra little bit of information to help readers become familiar with these terms, instead of leaving them guessing. The book may be set in the cold of the Arctic but the loving, lyrical text and the warm illustrations will leave readers with comforting and reassuring feelings. The artwork, animals, clothing, and symbols may be specific to the Arctic world, but the theme of this charming story is universal to readers of all ages.

Reader’s may also enjoy Joosse and Lavallee’s Papa, Do You Love Me?

Reviewed by Alexis Mayhall

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