Tuesday, March 25, 2008

18. This Quiet Lady

by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Anita Lobel

I was searching for some realistic fiction picture books for the children's literature class when I came upon this gem, published in 1992. Zolotow has written a number of realistic fiction picture books. This book brought tears to my eyes.

In each double-page spread, on one side a young girl looks, in various locations in the house, at photographs of her mother at different ages. She describes each photograph in one sentence beginning with "This" and ending with "is my mother." The "photographs" take up the full-page other half of the spread, in Lobel's lovely watercolor and gouache illustrations. The book ends with an illustration of the narrator as a baby with her mother and the text, "And here is where I begin."

The book is perfect as a read-aloud for very young children, and the short and repetitive text is also good for beginning readers. I also think this would be a lovely gift for Mother's Day, especially for a mom who was a child in the 60s and a teen in the 70s, like the mother in the illustrations (and like me).

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