Me and Momma and Big John

Me and Momma and Big John

Book - 2012 | First edition.
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Momma is a stonecutter at the cathedral called Big John -- and little John and his sisters can't wait to see her special stone -- in this luminous true-life story.

"Building a cathedral isn't a job, it's an art."
Momma comes home from work, tired and sore from a long day at her job. She used to work on the factory line, but now an early bus takes her across the bridge into New York City. Momma is a stonecutter now, helping to build the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. She works all day on just one stone, and little John and his two sisters wonder how she does it. Finally, Momma's stone is finished, and little John can't wait to see it. But when he arrives at the cathedral, he's confused. Where is Momma's name? How will all the people know this is Momma's art? This touching story from a child's perspective, based on real events, lovingly shows the grace and dignity of having pride in one's work -- and in one's Momma. Gorgeously illustrated with the illuminated artwork of William Low, the transcendent beauty of Saint John's Cathedral radiates with warmth and light.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick, [2012]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780763643591
Branch Call Number: E ROC
Characteristics: 32 unnumbered pages :,color illustrations ;,31 cm
Additional Contributors: Low, William


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


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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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