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My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
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My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  27 reviews
It is harvest time, and all the villagers for miles around are harvesting the wheat, except for Varya. She cannot find her mother. What does her mother look like? Her answer is, “My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.” When her mother is finally found, she proves to be the most beautiful woman in the world—if only, perhaps, in the eyes of her small daughter.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published December 12th 1945 by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books (first published 1945)
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List for #nerdcott
172nd out of 335 books — 34 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 201)
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Angela
I got a little teary-eyed at the end of this book when Varya is reunited with her mother.
"We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them."
"Some people, Varyachka, see with their eyes alone. Others see with their hearts, too. I am grateful and lucky that you see with your heart, as well as with your eyes."
Lorna
1946 Caldecott Honor

Favorite illustration: gorgeous end papers

Favorite line: "I am grateful and lucky that you see with your heart, as well as with your eyes."

Kid-appeal: A nice Russian folk tale and interesting pointillist-style illustrations.
Laura5
"We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to use because we love them."
Rachel
This was a very interesting book. It had fabulous brightly-colored endpages in yellow with butterflies, roosters, peacocks, roses, cherries, and architecture, in a charming folk art style. The illustrations are in the same folk art style of the end pages, and vary between black & white and full color.

The story itself was based off a Russian folktale and proverb, which was as follows: "We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them." The
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Paul
This book published in 1945 is based on a story the author heard from her mother about a time long before (during the reign of the czars); not surprisingly, the lifeways and values reflect some of both of these eras and may now seem overly quaint or archaic. Since the main character is a young girl, this book will probably appeal especially to young girls and their mothers, but the story conveys all the joy and safety of a loving relationship children can have with their parents.
Some people, Var
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Christina
Another favorite story from my childhood. And of course my mother was the most beautiful!
Betsy
A sweet story from Russia illustrating the Russian proverb, "We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them!"

This has a fair amount of text, so it's probably a good read aloud for 1st grade and up. I think it would also make an interesting companion read to a book like Little House on the Prairie because of the descriptions of harvest time (they are similar).
Molly
This is a Russian folktale about a little girl who gets lost. She tells the villagers who help her that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world and they gather all the beautiful women around. However, it turns out her mother is a plain woman. She is beautiful in her daughter's eyes.

I liked the sentiment of the story and the Russian proverb it uses as the moral of the story, "We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them." It is
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Megan Hohn
Undoubtedly, this book was neat in that it introduced my to an old russian folktal. Yet, there were parts of the book I didn't care for and other I did. It contained some really interesting scenes of post-harvest celebrations and the various foods that the Russians enjoyed eating. I had never heard of any of them before! On the negative side, the book was very stereotypical of the submissive women housewife. Also, the pictures in the book seemed to randomly switch between color and black and whi ...more
Ed
I thought this was one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read, and I loved the same quote as Laura5, "We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to use because we love them." The illustrations are vibrant and colorful, and you can see the love between the mother and daughter shining in their faces. My favorite part of the book was the end, where they provide a frame so the book owner can place a picture of their beautiful mother in the book. I thought that ...more
Samantha
When a little girl becomes lost in the fields during harvest season she tells the strangers who find her one thing: that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world. The strangers round up the most beautiful women far and near and at long last the girl is reunited with her mother, a plain-jane sort of woman who is most beautiful because she is loved. There is a page at the end for the reader to put a picture of their own mother, the most beautful woman in the world. Artwork is full color ...more
Jillyn
Cute story with a good message. Beautiful illustrations.
Sarah
A young girl from the Ukraine loses her mother and gives only one bit of information to the strangers who look for her: She's the most beautiful woman in the world. Tear-jerker alert!
The illustrations almost look like old newsprint technology, tiny dots create the shapes and colors. The writing hearkens us back to the days of celebration for a harvest well earned. (1946 Caldecott Honor)
Amanda
Growing up as a 'less than perfectly shaped' American girl, of Russian heritage, this book is an inspiration. Beauty comes from within. My mother read it to me as a child, and thinking back on the year I gave it to her for Mother's Day still brings happy tears to my eyes.
Cheryl
This wonderful and poignant little folktale shows that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, and that "some people see with their eyes alone, while others see with their hearts too".
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Caldecott Honor 1946 - As I read this one, I changed my opinion so many times. The basic sentiment was touching but there were parts where I couldn't stop rolling my eyes.
Jacqueline
My book is actually a dandelion library book I had as a kid. You flip the book over and there is another totally different story .
Mary
While I didn't care much for the illustrations, I loved the story about how beauty is percieved with the heart and not the eyes.
Mckinley
Colorful depiction of peasant life in Russian. Nice story, didn't like the drawings all thatm uch.
Caldecott honor.
Natalia Ortega-Brown
"We do not love people because they are beautiful, but they seem beautiful to us because we love them."
Eireanne
Very good message: If you are beautiful inside, then you are seen as beautiful to those that love you.
Karabina
One of my favorite books as a child! It's a great story with an important lesson.
Victoria
Wonderful story of recognizing inner beauty.
Brindi
1946 Caldecott Honor
Sarah W
Favorite illustration = p. 11
Clifford Thibodeau
Clifford Thibodeau marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
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