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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
From the African elephant to the polar bear and all manner of animals in between, mothers love their babies all around the world. In Deb Gangemi and Anthony L. Gangemi’s Mama, Mama, How Much Do You Love Me? A Journey Around the World, the journey is an adventure, one full of love everywhere you look. Each animal baby mentions what he/she was doing with Mama before asking the poignant question, “How much do you love me?” The answer comes with arms spread wide to demonstrate the extent of a mother’s love, followed by a warm, embracing hug that shares the sentiment of love. The last animal that addresses this question of love, of course, is the human animal, a child seeking affirmation of his/her mother’s love.
Deb Gangemi and Anthony L. Gangemi’s picture book, Mama, Mama, How Much Do You Love Me?, is as gentle and sweet as some of the classic children’s books, like my all-time favorite, Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever. The story begins in Africa with an elephant mother and baby as they explore the vast extent of their love for each other. Told in rhyming verse, the story then progresses around the world, choosing different animals from the various geographic locations visited. The question remains the same, as does the answer; a mother’s love is extensive and undefinable. The authors have included maps to pinpoint the location of the various animals presented in the story and at the end, there is a glossary that shares the geographic locations of these animals. This is a heartwarming story about love, but it’s also an educational book about animals of the world, studying the world maps, learning about which animals favor daylight or the darkness of night, and all the colors of the rainbow. This is an excellent interactive gem of a book.