When Mother Read Aloud tells the story of Katie's 3rd great-grandmother, Almyra King Holsclaw, who grew up in Indiana in the 1840s and 1850s. The book is written in the first person, from the perspective of Almyra herself, which is appropriate because Almyra told the stories of her life to her daughter, who then shared them with HER descendants. It is a wonderful example of how family history can be passed down and shared through the generations.
In the book, Almyra shares much about what life was like for her family and friends during her childhood. She talks about the type of house her father built for the family, what they ate, chores and crafts they did, and how they interacted with other families in the community. The book really is a nice way to introduce kids to how Midwestern pioneer families lived in the pre-Civil War era.
The illustrations in When Mother Read Aloud are colorful and eye-catching. They were designed and drawn by five talented Indiana high school students. At the end of the book is a short biography of Almyra, complete with photographs. I enjoyed the biographical addition to the book, and I think having it side-by-side with the story version of Almyra's life will help kids understand that everyone's life is just one big story, and that all our stories are interconnected with each other. And you know what? Learning about Almyra's life might inspire a child to investigate their own family history and discover the stories of their own ancestors, which is a wonderful thing.
When Mother Read Aloud: The Life Story of Almyra King Holsclaw can be ordered here on Amazon. (A small portion of sales through this link comes back to Growing Little Leaves.)
*I received a complementary copy of When Mother Read Aloud for review, but all opinions remain my own.*