Rockcliff, Mara Me and Momma and Big John, 30 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2012. $16.99. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G. PICTURE BOOK.
John, the voice in this story, tells how his mother is a stone cutter for the Cathedral nicknamed, Big John, in New York City. It is tiring work, but his mother is proud of the “art” she creates and so is John. When she takes him to see the cathedral and her work, he is surprised to see that her stone looks like all the other stones, with no particular “art” to it. But, as he sees the congregation and hears the choir, he realizes that the “art” of the soul takes place within the large walls. Rockcliff shares her admiration of the many architects and laborers who have come to build the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
The illustrations were a bit muted for me. I would chose to use more light to represent the cathedral. The information pages at the end of the book created a better picture of the background of this book. I enjoyed learning about the many plans and revisions and renovations over the years and the dedication of the people who learned the stonecutter craft in the process.
EL, MS- ADVISABLE. Reviewer: MOMMC