Synopses & Reviews
Momma is a stonecutter at the cathedral called Big John — and little John and his sisters can't wait to see her special stone — in this luminous true-life story.
"Building a cathedral isnt a job, its an art."
Momma comes home from work, tired and sore from a long day at her job. She used to work on the factory line, but now an early bus takes her across the bridge into New York City. Momma is a stonecutter now, helping to build the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. She works all day on just one stone, and little John and his two sisters wonder how she does it. Finally, Mommas stone is finished, and little John cant wait to see it. But when he arrives at the cathedral, hes confused. Where is Mommas name? How will all the people know this is Mommas art? This touching story from a childs perspective, based on real events, lovingly shows the grace and dignity of having pride in ones work — and in ones Momma. Gorgeously illustrated with the illuminated artwork of William Low, the transcendent beauty of Saint Johns Cathedral radiates with warmth and light.
"When John's mother trudges home from her first day as a stonecutter, 'She is gray as ashes, from her headscarf to her boots. Even her bouncy beaded earrings have gone dull as dirt.' What's more, it's all from cutting just one stone, 'and it's not done yet.' But Momma doesn't mind the hard work because she's a stonecutter at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, and what she does 'isn't just a job.... It's an art.' With Rockliff's (My Heart Will Not Sit Down) plainspoken lyricism providing scaffolding for Low's (Machines Go to Work) incandescent realism, the story of a struggling family transformed through the joy and power of meaningful work is woven into the history of a beloved spiritual landmark. Whether the scene is inside the narrator's modest apartment or looking down from the barrel vault ceiling onto the cathedral's magnificent nave, every page is infused with golden light, quiet pride, and soaring hope. An afterword provides background on the still-unfinished cathedral and the training program that employed people like Momma. Ages 3 8. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Momma is a stonecutter at the cathedral called Big John-and little John and his sisters can't wait to see her special stone-in this luminous true-life story.
About the Author
is a much-lauded illustrator, author, and painter who has received numerous awards. His books include Chinatown
and Old Penn Station
. He lives in New York City.
William Low is a much-lauded illustrator, author, and painter who has received numerous awards. His books include CHINATOWN and OLD PENN STATION. He lives in New York City.