Review Blog

May 17 2018

Oma's buttons by Tania Ingram and Jennifer Harrison

cover image

Penguin Viking, 2018. ISBN 9780143786573
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Buttons. Memories. Grandparents. Family life. Sharing. While playing hide and seek at Oma's place, Ruthie comes across a small tin under her grandmother's bed.
Asking what the buttons are for, Oma tells her that each of the buttons reminds her of someone she loves. The first button is her mother's, and Ruthie cannot understand how a button can remind her of a person. But Oma explains that this button is from her apron and every Sunday morning the two would make strudels for the family, until the whole house smelled of cinnamon, so reminding Oma of the importance of family. A brown button is from her father and reminds her of him taking her to the beach and learning to swim, a safe, comfortable man who taught her many things. A blue button is from her husband's suit, who taught her that love never dies while another is from the first jumper she knitted for her daughter, who taught her about caring and laughter.
Finally Ruthie finds a small button at the bottom of the box and holding it up is told by Oma that this was from her coat, a warm snuggly coat, and she gives it to Ruthie to keep for her. But Ruthie loses the button, and Oma finds a way of giving Ruthie an even more precious button to remind her of her grandmother.
Redolent with love and family, this will be sighed over by many readers as they learn of the ties that bind families together over generations.
The photographic style illustrations suit the sentiment of the story well.
Fran Knight

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