Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mama Do You love me?

Mama Do You love me?

Barbara Joosse
Illustrator:  Barbara Lavallee 
Board Book
For ages 2 to 5
Chronicle, 1998   ISBN: 978-0811821315

Every so often our children wonder if they are really loved and if their mothers might, one day, stop loving them for some reason. In this magical tale a little Inuit child asks her mother if her mother loves her. Even though the answer is yes, the child continues to ask questions. How much does her mother love her, how long does she love her, and would her mother stop loving her if the little girl were to be naughty. Would her mother stop loving her if the little girl were to change into “the meanest bear you ever saw.”

Thankfully the little girl’s mother is not only loving but she is also wise. She answers all the questions she is asked with care and honesty. If her daughter were to be very naughty her mother admits that she would indeed be angry but “still, I would love you.” The mother confesses that if her daughter were to turn into a musk ox, she would be “surprised” but she would still love her child.

With great skill and sensitivity, Barbara M. Joose makes sure that her young readers see that a mother’s love is truly boundless and timeless. It can be tested again and again and it will always survive, coming out as strong and as beautiful as ever. As we look at the rich illustrations showing Inuit life, myth and legend, we can see too that all mothers are the same wherever they live.