Whether parent and child or grandparent and grandchild, Maryann Cusimano Love’s tender, playful text and Satomi Ichikawa’s childlike, colorful illustrations are nothing less than odes to these universal bonds.
Now the two shine their spotlight on students and teachers, enriching each other through storytelling, art, music, and of course, guidance. Perfect and reassuring for the youngest of students, You Are My Wonders is sure to be a hit at story time at home or in the classroom.
Origin of the Story – In the Author’s Words
I come from a family of teachers. My Irish grandmother, Mary Ann Hart, whom I was named after, was a special education teacher at a time when people thought that special needs children could not be educated. As a teacher myself for over twenty years, I know first hand how much I learn from my students, and how important the special bond is between students and teachers, each rooting for each other and helping each other to grow. While we teachers have the honor of introducing young people to new ideas, our students give us amazing gifts, seeing the wonders of the world, fresh through their young eyes.
When we sent our first child off to pre school two mornings a week, we realized again how important that special teacher/ child relationship is. I was smiling and crying at the same time, seeing my little one grown up enough to wear a bright back pack almost as big as she was, toddling off to school. Yet I was reassured that she was in the good hands of someone who also cared about her, and was working to help her grow.
Helping every child grow into the best person they can be is a vocation parents and teachers share. I was reflecting on this on my way home from church one rainy Sunday morning, thinking about how my child’s preschool teacher was helping her learn how to button her raincoat, when the beginnings of You Are My Wonders came tumbling out of my imagination. I’d heard from plenty of teachers who loved You Are My I Love You, You Are My Miracle, You Are My Wish, and Sleep, Baby, Sleep, but wanted to know when I would write a book for them. Teachers today face many challenges that my Grandmother never faced, so I wanted to write a book celebrating the simple joys of class time together, growing seeds, reading stories, and sharing the wonders of the world.
PreS-Gr3 — Every page of this engaging tale of students and their teacher shows the wonders of learning in both words and illustrations. A loving teacher and her students show all the things that make their relationship special, wisely noting how they complement one another: “I am your teacher;/ you are my school child./ I am you wise face;/ you are my new-tooth smile.” As the class reads stories, glues arts and crafts, plants seeds, and learns to button raincoats and boots and balance colorful backpacks, their bond is beautifully illustrated in warm, soft watercolors that playfully show the rhythms of the school day and their wonders in learning. Four endearing small stuffed toys also tag along throughout the school day, and are fun to spot on each page as they follow the bears and join in the fun and the messes. This team has also produced the beautiful You Are My I Love You, You Are My Miracle, and You Are My Wish books (Philomel/ Penguin Putnam), which have similar formats but explore the parent/ child and grandparent/ child relationships. This is a celebration of the wonders of learning, a perfect book for teachers to share with their students. Teacher, Hollywood, MD