Cover of Mama Do You Love Me

Title : Mama, Do You Love Me?

Author : Barbara M. Joosse

Illustrator : Barbara Lavallee

Publisher : Scholastic, Inc

Year of publishing : 1991

Age Suggestion : 3+

Type : Picture Book, Rhytmic Book





Once, I had anthology fairy tales book when I was 7 years old. Few of them was already popular. However, different from other children’s picture book or storybook, this one was really gloomy one. I mean, do you know the little mermaid, Ariel, from Disney Princesses? It ended well, like a happily ever after ending, right. But this one, she ended being a cold foam of the sea! So sad! Later, I knew that it’s written by Andersen. Why, Andersen? :’(


Anyway, back to my book, which I believe that the collection (or anthology) of Andersen’s fairy tales, there are the pictures that very similar to this book I’ve just found: “Mama, Do You Love Me?” by Barbara M. Joosse. The illustrator itself is Barbara Lavallee (they definitely found a chemistry :D)


The drawings is pictured the native American-Indian, later I knew it to be Inuit Tribes, Inuit means “the people”, you’ll found the explanation in this book later. There’s a kayak, a polka, do you wonder what are they? Just go buy the book, I recommend you!


Mama, Do You Love Me tells a story about this little girl who wonders how much her mother loves her. She asks a bunch of questions, about all the stuffs she might do and whether her mother will still love her nevertheless. I hope she doesn’t really do all the things she said, because it will be very challenging for her mother. I mean, become a bear and hunt her own mother until the poor woman cried? Not a good thing to do, kids!


Anyway, this book is really sweet and there’s tenderness that can melt you down, literally. I almost cry just because I am so touched by the mother’s word. There’s some kind of her beautiful words;



Inside page of Mama Do You Love Me
You can see the puffin howls to the moon and both of them riding on kayak.

I’ll love you until the umiak flies into the darkness, till the stars turn to fish in the sky and the puffin howls at the moonMiss Barbara M. Jossee




I chose the section not only because it’s beautiful, but because it contained the word that’s really unfamiliar for me. Umiak. It doesn’t sound like English word, right? Definitely, not an Indonesian, too!


The last page of Mama Do You Love Me
The end of the book, Mama Do You Love Me. You will learn so many fascinating cultures of Inuit Tribes here.

For this, I must give a credit to Miss Barbara Joosse. She intentionally put Inuit Tribe’s language in every sentence for the kids and in the end of the book, she explained the meaning of those words. It’s clear as the sky for me that Miss Barbara wants us to learn and understand the culture of Inuit Tribes. I hope their culture will still remain always because they are beautiful and interesting. There’s a site page explained the culture if you want to learn forehand, you can click here : Ottawa Inuit Children’s Page.


Now, let’s talk about the other Miss Barbara. The one who illustrated the book. I think she definitely successful in illustrating the message that Miss Barbara Joosse wanted to send. The illustration about Inuit Tribes is a little bit gloomy but really captured their cultures. And thanks to that, I can feel the warm and tenderness through the monotonous colour.


The most interesting one, Miss Barbara Lavallee drew the face in some kind of ambiguous picture. You know, picture that includes two different pictures in the same drawing. It’s pretty simple, though, one is a whole face picture, the other is the side face. I know, it seems complicated, but once you see it, it’s not that complicated.


Curious? You must be, because this book is the one that made Miss Barbara Joosse won many awards!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Name and email are required