The First Thing My Mama Told Me

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9780152010751: The First Thing My Mama Told Me

When I was born,
the first thing my mama told me
was my name.
Lucy remembers lots of things about her name. When she was two, Uncle David painted it on her step stool. When she was three, she scribbled it on the floor with an orange crayon. When she was four, she ate her very own plate of L-U-C-Y pancakes, one letter at a time.
Lucy is seven now. She can reach the sink without a stool, and she doesn't write on the floor anymore. But her name still goes with her everywhere. Lucy loves her name--and she loves Mama and Dad, who chose it just for her.

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About the Author:

SUSAN MARIE SWANSON is a visiting poet in schools and a contributing editor for the Riverbank Review. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

CHRISTINE DAVENIER is the illustrator of the award-winning Iris and Walter books, written by Elissa Haden Guest, and many other popular children's books. She lives in Paris, France.

From School Library Journal:

reSchool-Grade 2-A pleasing departure from the trend toward books that deal with a child's dislike of his or her name, this title begins, "When I was born, the first thing my mama told me was my name." Lucy's name comes from a "long-ago word for light" and shines for her as a constant reminder of her uniqueness and special place in the world. It is iced on her first birthday cake, painted on the stool she uses to get a drink of water, and scribbled everywhere her three-year-old hand can reach. Lucy eats pancakes shaped like the letters of her name and later helps her baby sister finish eating the letters of hers. The story ends as the child receives a flashlight for her seventh birthday; she writes her name in light across the sky, and it goes "flying out into the big, starlit night." Davenier's pencil, ink, and pastel illustrations lend a timeless quality, and details in the pictures enhance the telling, from Lucy's name embroidered on her pom-pom cap to her dog licking plates of pancakes and birthday cake. The final spread of Lucy's name in the night sky is the only illustration in which color extends to the edges of the pages, filling them with her exuberance and contentment. This book could be well used as a cozy bedtime story or with a group of preschoolers taking the first important steps toward writing and celebrating their own names, and will make a welcome addition to most collections.
Martha Link, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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