A Gift for Mama (Hardcover)

$ 17.99

In this lovely, circular story set in 19th-century Vienna, Oskar searches for the perfect gift for his mother, armed with a single coin. Each time he acquires a gift, starting with a perfect yellow rose, he meets someone who convinces him to trade it for something else. Finally, the day is over, and he is back where he started. In the concluding paragraph, Lodding states that most of the people Oskar meets are important figures from Viennese history-Gustav Klimt, Felix Salten, Johann Strauss II, and Empress Sisi-and that this is Vienna's story as well as Oskar's. The narrative is well written and satisfying to read aloud. Jay's crackle-glazed paintings are as dreamily beautiful as ever, masterfully composed, and full of interesting details. Unfortunately, in this case, the soft surrealism of her landscapes works against her revelation that the story is meant to be firmly rooted in the city's history. While the text and illustrations are wonderful in their own right, it is a shame that the historical connections really only exist in the author's note. Whether or not an opportunity was lost, this is a lovely and successful book about optimism, giving, and love.

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3