for The First Thing My Mama Told Me
by Susan Marie Swanson
and Christine Davenier
“When I was born, the first thing my mama told me was my name,” begins Lucy, the seven-year-old protagonist of this lyrical picture book. “Mama says my name comes from a long-ago word for light. When I was born, she let that name shine on me.” As Lucy grows from infancy to early childhood, we see the many ways in which her name continues to shine: written in frosting on her first birthday cake, engraved on a step stool her uncle made for her when she was two, and Lucy’s own attempts at age three to write her name – everywhere – in magic marker. By the time she starts kindergarten, she is well able to find her special coat hook with her name written above it, and by first grade, she can write it herself in the snow. When Lucy receives a flashlight for her seventh birthday, she is able to swirl it around to write her name in cursive on the dark, starlit sky. Distinctive pen-and-ink illustrations with pastel washes perfectly complement the thoughtful yet upbeat mood of the book, and sometimes suggest pieces of the story not mentioned in the understated narrative. Honor Book, 2003 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 3-8)
CCBC Choices 2003 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003. Used with permission.
When I was born,
the first thing my mama told me
was my name.
Lucy remembers lots of things about her name. When she was two, Uncle David painted it on her step stool. When she was three, she scribbled it on the floor with an orange crayon. When she was four, she ate her very own plate of L-U-C-Y pancakes, one letter at a time.
Lucy is seven now. She can reach the sink without a stool, and she doesn't write on the floor anymore. But her name still goes with her everywhere. Lucy loves her name--and she loves Mama and Dad, who chose it just for her.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.