Momma Loves Her Little Son
By John Carter Cash, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt
Little Simon Inspirations, $16.99
32 pp.; ISBN-13: 978-1416959120
Review by Amy Brozio-Andrews
When John Carter Cash was a boy, his mother, June Carter Cash would tell him, "Momma loves her little son." And in sharing this intimate mother-son bond with families everywhere, he’s sharing a gift that’s perfect for bedtime reading.
Momma Loves Her Little Son is a sweet invocation of mother’s promises to her son, couched in love and devotion. John Carter Cash’s heartfelt writing is simple and effectively moving (for mothers at least, if not their little sons, who will mostly take away from the book that mom loves you a whole lot). With grand, sweeping, poetic declarations of love, the book really captures just how much parents love their kids and how durable that love is. For example, Cash compares a mother’s love to the toughness of a rhino’s hide and the eagerness of planted seeds in winter; that image is utterly complementary and whimsical as depicted by Marc Burckhardt, as the mother and son in the story ride a rhinoceros over a snowy hill as a trail of spring flowers bloom in their wake.
Burckhardt’s folk art-styled artwork gives the book a timeless, all-American feel. The book spans an entire day, opening with Burckhardt’s placing the mother and her son in front of a landscape dominated by a rising sun and closing with the image of the peacefully sleeping child as the moon rises and his dreams are filled with the imagery Cash has referred to throughout his book, like a rhinoceros, a whale, fish, an airplane, and more.
While the book is definitely boy-oriented with active and outdoorsy imagery, the underlying theme of Momma Loves Her Little Son certainly spans the love a mother feels for all her children, so daughters are likely to be just as happy as sons to hear this story — after all, what child doesn’t want to hear how much he or she is loved? That said, for mothers of sons, John Carter Cash’s Momma Loves Her Little Son is a special love letter to a child.