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Loretta's Gift Hardcover – Picture Book, August 14, 2018
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Loretta and her parents are so excited that Aunt Esme and Uncle Jax are having a baby! When Gabe arrives, Loretta thinks he is the best baby on the block! Everyone showers him with gifts, but Loretta doesn't know what to give. Can she think of the perfect gift for her baby cousin?
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About the Author
Alea Marley is a children's book illustrator who loves creating whimsical scenes and cute characters. She lives in the UK.
- Publisher : little bee books; Illustrated edition (August 14, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1499806817
- ISBN-13 : 978-1499806816
- Reading age : 4 - 8 years
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 9 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #643,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Pat Zietlow Miller, New York Times Bestselling author of BE KIND, reviewed HERE, Is back with LORETTA'S GIFT. illustrated by Alea Marley. In this charmer, MIller's characteristic love and lyricism shine through a tale of growing families. When young Loretta hears the news that she'll have a new baby cousin, she's on board and eager to give a gift. She's even willing to give away her own belongings, but realizes that they won't be the best choices.
It's a remarkable accomplishment when any picture book that's NOT focused on the changing seasons can manage to span more than a day or two, let alone reach beyond the span of a full year. These two books do just that, and both do it well. In both books I believe the span of time serves the topic well, revealing how quickly time passes, whether dealing with newborns or school years.
From the days of diaper changes right through to Gabe's first birthday, Loretta calms her baby cousin's tears, organizes and tugs his tiny clothes into place, and otherwise showers him with her greatest gifts: time and attention. The story circles back to remind Loretta and her family that sharing laughter and tears, hugs and cheers is the best gift of all.
Although a day may come when it doesn't merit comment, it's worth noting that the text makes absolutely no references to the race of the these characters. The story explores universal truths, ones that apply across continents, ages, races, and circumstances. Until recently, the illustrations would most likely have been Caucasian. Marley's lovely depictions of characters of color, including little Gabe's mixed identity, might not have been considered in the past. Now, they are a welcome indicator of the publishing industry's slowly bending curve toward justice, representing ALL people in all kinds of books and stories.
I'm also happy to see an interracial couple (Gabe's parents) presented without comment, so yay!
And my wife pointed out to me recently that the whole extended family might be living under one roof. My interpretation (that Loretta and her parents live in one house, with aunt, uncle, and cousin in a nearby house) is also certainly supported, but she's right that there's only ever one house pictured. And Loretta's daily interactions with Gabe and some of the ways that Loretta's parents are helping out do indeed suggest that all six of them could be living together. Which is a kind of family structure and living arrangement that definitely doesn't get enough representation in picture books, so yay again!
(Family resemblance in illustrations imply that mom and aunt are probably sisters - but this is also never specified. I think there could be room here for chosen families and polyamorous families to see themselves reflected, too, if that's something you're seeking.)
Filled with heart, this picture book is topnotch and on the spot.
#mustread #newbaby #bestgiftever