cover image Little Mam Forgets

Little Mam Forgets

Robin Cruise, , illus. by Stacey Dressen-McQueen. . FSG/Kroupa, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-374-34613-3

Lucy's grandmother may be forgetful at times, but that doesn't mean she can't remember the things that matter most. Such is the recurring "thread" woven through this story of a tightly knit Mexican-American family. Cruise (Fiona's Private Pages ) peppers the text with bits and snatches of Spanish—a reflection of how fluidly the family's heritage is integrated into their daily lives. The story mainly centers upon Lucy and Little Mamá, the grandmother for whom she is named ("Luciana María Isabela Gálvez-Molinero "). Little Mamá sometimes forgets about a piece of bread that she is toasting, but she can fondly recall events in her life with a zest that is infectious. ("Even though she forgets about loops and bows and double knots, my little mamá remembers... how to button her favorite dancing shoes.") Dressen-McQueen's (Boxes for Katje ) illustrations—awash in a corn tortilla palette—add an extra burst of liveliness to this recollection of a fruitful existence. She paints Little Mamá's trunk of dresses from her native Tembabichi in a cornucopia of festive bright colors, layers upon layers of ruffles that practically swirl off the pages. This volume celebrates a family life sustained by happy memories and good times. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)