Where's Our Mama? (Picture Puffins)

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9780140555554: Where's Our Mama? (Picture Puffins)

A Caldecott Honor medalist offers a charming and stylish evocation of Paris as a helpful gendarme aids two children who have become separated from their mother. Reprint. SLJ. K. H.

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About the Author:

As a child, Diane Goode loved books and art. She has been drawing ever since she can remember. Of Italian and French descent, she enjoyed the richness of both cultures and traveled to Europe every summer visiting family as well as cathedrals and museums. She feels that these early impressions helped shape her appreciation of art and life. She studied art history at Queens College, but switched to fine arts, in which she earned her degree.

Her love for Europe shows in the setting of many of her books Paris in particular, where two of her recent picture books, Where's Our Mama? and Mama's Perfect Present. take place. She drew on her experience of living for a short time in Pennsylvania, to do the art work for Cynthia Rylant's story of Appalachia, When I Was Young in the Mountains, for which she was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal. Diane Goode has illustrated 27 books for children, including anthologies and stories she has written herself. She has always been drawn to the classics and has illustrated many of the traditional fairy tales. Of her process, she says:

"I always begin with a rough dummy and then work on the individual pages, sketching very loosely and quickly to establish movement and composition. I do these dozens of times, repositioning enlarging, reducing, adding and omitting. There are always hundreds of sketches for each book. It sounds tedious, but it is the most exciting part of creating a book. When I m satisfied with these, I do the final art. All of my work is done on opaline parchment, a thin but strong paper. I sketch lightly in pencil and use water colors applied with very fine sable brushes. Sometimes I use color pencils with the paint to soften the atmosphere."

Diane Goode now lives in Watchung, New Jersey, with her husband David, an author and college professor. Their son, Peter, attends Rhode Island School of Design.

From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 2-- The original Gare d'Orsay Train Station in Paris circa 1920 is the setting for this winning tribute to the enduring belief that one's own mother is the best in the world. Mama has her hands full with the baby in her arms and two preschoolers in tow when a gust of wind from an incoming train blows her hat away. "Stay right here while I find it," she cautions the children. When they become separated, a helpful gendarme leads them throughout Paris on a search for their mother. "Is this your mama?," he says as they arrive at the opera. "Oh no, sir. Our mama is very slim. But Mama cooks the best food in the world." And so the dialogue is repeated as they reject the cook, teacher, etc.--until the oldest child remembers her mother's original instructions and they are joyfully reunited back at the station. Clever viewers will enjoy spotting the mother on her own search for the children. Goode has crafted a book that is both elegant and childlike. The full-color art evokes a glamorous, multiethnic Parisian milieu; marbleized endpapers and a classic border contribute to the handsome design. The characters' expressive features conveying the fear and bewilderment of separation, the gendarme's humorous attempts at matchmaking, and the appealing repetitive rhythm of the simple text will also make this an inviting choice for story hours. --Caroline Ward, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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