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Uplifting Picture Books That Don't Preach
Mama, If You Had a Wish
Mama, If You Had a Wish
by Jeanne Modesitt, illustrated by Robin Spowart
Aladdin/Simon & Schuster,(1999)
"Mama," asked Little Bunny, "if you had a wish,
would you wish I never cried?"
"No, Little Bunny," answered Mama,
"But it does make me sad to see you cry."
"Would you wish I was brave all the time, and never got scared of anything?"
"No, Little Bunny," said Mama. "We all get scared sometimes."
--Mama, If You Had a Wish, Jeanne Modesitt, illustrated by Robin Spowart, p. 1-10.
This soothing book provides messages of unconditional love and acceptance. A little bunny keeps asking her mother if she should be different—not cry, not be scared, look different—and she quickly gets loving reassurances that she is just right the way she is, and that everyone cries or gets scared. The book is like a reassuring conversation directly to the reader.
The text is gentle and comforting, and reaches to deep fears that some readers may be afraid to ask about. It encourages love, acceptance of oneself, and self-esteem. It may be especially helpful for anxious or self-critical readers, or readers who have experienced a lot of criticism.
The text flows beautifully; no words feel out of place. The mother's answers feel heartfelt, deep, and healing—answers that everyone should receive to these questions. The gender of the bunny is not disclosed, allowing readers to more easily identify with the bunny.
The rich, deep illustrations, perhaps pastel or chalk, are vibrant and unique; you couldn't mistake Spowart's work for anyone else's. The illustrations may have a little too much darkness to completely mesh with the text for some readers; to some the drawings may appear unsettling, to others, comforting. The blues, greens, pinks, and yellows work to offset this, offering happier tones. The edges of many of the illustrations swirl together, creating an almost dream-like quality.
This is a heartwarming, comforting book that provides much-needed loving messages for readers. Highly recommended.
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