A Gift for Mama
Written by: Lawrence Schimel
Illustrated by: Paz Rodero
Tani and Tina (originally Abel and Rita) want to give their mother a gift by way of expressing their gratitude and love for her. Reading this book together prompts parents and children to discuss the special relationships between family members, and how young children are capable of thanking their parents, and showing them that they are grateful to them.
Honor thy parents
The Torah tells us in the ten commandments to “honor thy father and thy mother” (Exodus, 20:11). We can show our parents respect in different ways, depending on our age. When children are young, they can express their gratitude towards their parents by seeing all the good things that the latter bestow upon them. In A Gift for Mama, Tani and Tina give their mother gifts that are not store-bought, and yet are priceless. Young children are also capable of giving their parents special, personal gifts, thereby expressing their love and gratitude, in ways that, despite being simple and every-day, mean the world to those who receive them.
Enjoy reading this book together!
Proposed Family Activities:
- You may want to snuggle up and look through the book together. You could follow Tani’s facial expressions and ask your child: How, do you think, Tani felt when his sister chose to give Mama a flower?
- We suggest pausing at the page on which Tani announces that he, too, needs a box for his gift, and asking your child: what will Tani’s gift for his mother be, do you think? What gift would you like your child to prepare for you?
- You could act the story out using puppets. Together, you can imagine what the puppets will do with their mother at the end of the play.
- Perhaps you could play a game called “what’s the gift?”. Each player in turn picks a toy or small object and puts it in a box. The other players try to guess what is in the box by asking questions and receiving clues. For example: Is the gift an animal? Is it something yummy? Is it made of wood?
Were you able to guess which gifts were hiding in the boxes?
- You may want to tell your child how you honored or are currently honoring your own parents, and remind one another of the ways in which your child honors you. Together you can think of an older family member you could honor – perhaps by giving them a flower or hug, or surprising them with a phone call.
- How about choosing a box and decorating it with stickers, drawings, and ribbons? Perhaps you could decide together to whom you will now give it.