Mama, I'll Give You the World

Illustrated by S. Saelig Gallagher 
Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House. Grades 2-5.
Now available in paperback.

  • Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Best Book Award
  • Named to 2007-2008 Alabama Emphasis on Reading Program
  • Nominated for 2008-2009 South Carolina Picture Book Award

Every day after school Luisa goes to Walter’s World of Beauty to watch her mama cut, color, and curl customers’ hair.  Mama works hard and rarely smiles, but when she does, she is the prettiest flower in all the World.  At the end of each day, she puts her tip money in a special envelope for Luisa—marked “college.”  She wants to give her daughter the world.  But Lisa has plans of her own.  It’s Mama’s birthday and, for one night, she wants to make Mama smile . . . the way she smiles in an old photograph in which she is dancing at a place called Roseland.  So Luisa transforms Walter’s World of Beauty into Roseland, decorating it with roses and collages of Mama’s customers, who are also in on Luisa’s secret.  It isn’t long before everyone is happily dancing—especially Mama, who is happiest of all!

"Quotables . . ."

‘Everyone in the world is a flower,’ her mother always tells her. ‘Together they make a bouquet.’

Schotter’s nimble use of alliteration and words with multiple meanings adds depth and richness to the text.  The characters are quirky and distinctive, captured in all their glory by Gallagher’s dynamic oils.  . . . Matter-of-fact about the realities of life with and as a single parent, while mindful of the benefits of participating in a larger community, this (is a) tale of a hardworking mother and a thoughtful daughter. . . These are scenes to savor, snuggled closely one-on-one, or shared with a group.” - *Starred Review*, School Library Journal


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