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MONTANA'S MEMORY DAY by Sue Lawrence Kirkus Star


A Nature-Themed Foster/Adoption Story

by Sue Lawrence illustrated by Erika Wilson

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64-543460-3
Publisher: Mascot Books

A boy thinks about life with “New Mom” as they celebrate and remember his adoption day in a picture book about family and belonging.

Montana used to move around a lot, changing houses and living with different families. Now, New Mom is a constant in the youngster’s life. She teaches him how to help out on her farm, spends time showing him how to whittle, and wakes him early for nature walks. Together, they spend Montana’s Memory Day—the anniversary of his adoption—sharing a love of nature; when they encounter a track in the snow that Montana thinks belongs to a wolf, New Mom assures him it’s from a coyote: “But don’t worry—there’s room here for all of us,” she says. Lawrence’s simple language and calm phrases are soothing; her creative word forms (rememberer, differentness) give a lyrical feel to Montana’s first-person narrative. The prominence of whittling and carving is reflected in Wilson’s beautiful lino-block images whose subdued colors emphasize the winter setting; notes at the end give readers an insider’s look into the illustration process. A nature theme abounds, but it’s the striking closeness between Montana and New Mom that will stick with readers in this warm-blanket bedtime story.

Readers in birth families or found families will appreciate this tale of parent-child connection.