My Mother's Pearls

Catherine M. Fruisen, Author, Catherine M. Fruisen, Illustrator Cedco Publishing Company $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7683-2177-7
A strand of pearls connects a girl with a long line of ancestors in this kid-pleasing tale. Passed down from mother to daughter, the necklace first makes its appearance on the narrator's mother (""I love, love, LOVE helping her clasp her pearls,"" the girl confides). She also loves the stories associated with it, which she retells as each new spread rolls back the calendar. Moving back from her grandmother Marianne, decked out for a special event in 1968 (""my mom's first piano recital""), to her great-great-great-grandmother Rose, who emigrated from Scotland in 1878 and hid the pearls ""in a secret compartment in her trunk,"" the narrator arrives at 1788, when great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma Susanna received the pearls as a wedding gift from her husband. Despite the ever-lengthening list of ""great-greats,"" newcomer Fruisen keeps the connections clear, tucking period details into her cool-toned, slightly spare watercolors. Most of these forebears tend to be ladies of leisure, which allows for a parade of elegant fashions--and caters to common fantasies about one's family history. Ages 2-6. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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