|Gift for Mama|
Author: Lodding, Linda Ravin
A little boy is on a search for the perfect gift for his mother, navigating the streets of 1890s Vienna, meeting new people, and continuing to trade one gift for another.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 165668
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/14)
School Library Journal (03/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2014 The search for the perfect present is a tried-and-true storybook conceit, and it is given an enchanting twist in Lodding’s tale, as readers journey through old Vienna along with Oskar, meeting the artists, musicians, writers, and royalty who made the fin de siècle era unique. It all starts with the perfect present for Mama’s birthday: a yellow rose that young Oskar is persuaded to trade for a paintbrush. More trades follow, each seemingly more interesting until finally Oskar seems to wind up empty-handed after handing a forlorn girl his final treasure, a box of candied violets given to him by the empress herself. But wait—truly what goes around comes around when the little girl hands him the rose she was wearing in her hair. Jay’s illustrations feature the warmly aged, crackled surface of an ancient painting and the kindly ovoid bodies that have become her trademark. As an introduction to a special time and place, Lodding’s unique offering will prove a treat for sensitive, imaginative readers. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 K-Gr 2—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. Purchase without hesitation.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.