Aunt Mary Buttons.
Diane Jarvis Jones.
All grades / All ages.
This unusual self-published paperback deals with the themes of death, the gift of love, and the beauty of giving. The narrator remembers being a baby and being given a button blanket by Aunt Mary. Aunt Mary comes to live with the family when the narrator is five and she is seriously ill and dying. She sings a song to the young child who is afraid of death but does not understand its meaning. After the death of Aunt Mary, the child continues to give others buttons in remembrance.
The text on the left faces photos of portions of the button blanket on the right. This kind of layout does not integrate the text and illustration. But the idea of using buttons, sequin beads, and threads to create the illustrations is unique. The book is autographed and contains the gift of a button.
The author's approach to the theme of death is quite different from other works dealing with the issue and the book might be useful in some situations. The main problem with the text is the use of the first-person narration - a third-person narration would make the story more credible. Not an essential purchase.
Recommended with reservations
Lorraine Douglas is Youth Services Coordinator for the Winnipeg Public Library.
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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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