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Me and Momma and Big John

Rockliff, Mara (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Me and Momma and Big John


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Little John is proud of his mother's work as a stonecutter for a cathedral called "Big John," but struggles to understand the importance of spending so much time on one stone that no one will know Momma cut. Includes a history of New York City's Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
Authors: Rockliff, Mara
Statement of Responsibility: Mara Rockliff ; illustrated by William Low
Title: Me and Momma and Big John
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. :, Candlewick Press,, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 31 cm.
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Report This Jul 26, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Here you have the story of a single individual working with a group (a building project) in pursuit of a goal that is bigger than themselves. John’s driving fear in this book is that his mother’s contribution will go forgotten and to a very real extent that fear is well founded. Who looks at the stones of a church, any church, and knows what person helped to form each element? Yet with this book Ms. Rockliff gives kids the key to understanding that every monument, no matter how large, was formed by real people with families. And the world feels that much more human and personable.

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Report This Jul 26, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 4 and 8

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Report This Jul 26, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Her first day home from her new job and already John’s momma looks exhausted. A former factory line worker she’s now a trained stonecutter and her new job involves working on Manhattan’s magnificent and perpetually unfinished Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, also known as “Big John”. It’s hard work and when John hears that she’s spent all her time on just a single stone he is amazed. At last, one day he and his little siblings accompany their momma to Big John and even in the midst of being awed at the sheer size of the place, John can’t help but be incensed that his mother’s stone won’t even bear her name. How will anyone ever know it was hers then? But watching that stone go up into its space he comes to realize that this is a place where art isn’t just to be looked at but to “be”. And even if the world never knows her stone is there, he will. And she will too.

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