What's Special About Me, Mama?
written by Kristina Evans, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
(Hyperion Books for Children) 2011
Source: Mebane Public Library
A young boy wants his mother to tell him why he is special. She talks about his wonderful eyes that tell stories without words. When he is still questioning, she tells him about his beautiful skin and how it looks like "autumn earth." Mama goes on to name several other special qualities of her son and why they are important to her. Mama finishes up by revealing to her son the most special quality of all.
What's Special About Me, Mama? is a heartwarming story of a family's love for one another with amazing collage illustrations by award-winning artist Javaka Steptoe. It is also a great vehicle for teaching how to write supporting details. The mother, as she describes the different qualities of her son, goes into vivid detail with each quality. Author Kristina Evans is an excellent model for young writers who like to name things, but have trouble backing it up with details. If you wanted to use a bubble map, you could take each quality and write the different details around them. You could also use this book to teach about similes and metaphors. Find a copy of this superb book and share it with your class.