Ma Dear's Aprons is a 1997 book by Patricia McKissack about the relationship between a son, David Earl, and his mother, Ma dear.

Ma Dear's Aprons
AuthorPatricia McKissack
IllustratorFloyd Cooper
SubjectChildren's literature
Published1997 (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Publication placeUnited States
Media typePrint (hardback, paperback)



Booklist, reviewing Ma Dear's Aprons, wrote "As with most loving memories, there is a softening of the harsh edges, but McKissack's words and Cooper's warm double-spread oil-wash paintings are true to the period. They show the exhausting work as well as the proud and loving bonds of family."[1] The School Library Journal stated "The real story is Ma Dear's. Children who have this book read to them will see an African-American woman whose life in the rural south of the early 1900s was difficult but lived with dignity and joy."[1]

The Horn Book Magazine found "There is little plot, but there is plenty of emotion and many details to attract a child. .. Text and illustrations together create a portrait of a family working hard to survive but also finding much to be joyful about."[2]

Ma Dear's Aprons has also been reviewed by Kirkus Reviews,[3] Publishers Weekly,[4] and the Journal of Reading Education.[5]




  1. ^ a b "Ma Dear's aprons". Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Ma Dear's Aprons. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 1997. OCLC 31938515. Retrieved March 29, 2017. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  3. ^ "Ma Dear's Aprons". Kirkus Media LLC. March 1, 1997. Retrieved March 29, 2017. With the aid of Cooper's paintings, McKissack gives real bite to the life of domestic workers 100 years back. This isn't a candy- coated mother-son relationship--Ma Dear is just as quick to tell David Earl ``no more buts, and stop whining, as she is to bestow a hug. But there's love here, cast over David Earl's life with the same uncompromising grace Ma Dear brings to all things in their lives.
  4. ^ "Ma Dear's Aprons". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. March 31, 1997. Retrieved March 29, 2017. A tender tale of love and sacrifice.
  5. ^ Robin Vann Lynch; Aithier Lazar (November 2008). "Addressing African American Heritage Through Picture Books". Journal of Reading Education. 34 (1). Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading: 42. Retrieved March 29, 2017.[dead link]
  6. ^ Kathleen T. Horning; Ginny Moore Kruse; Megan Schliesman (1998). CCBC Choices 1997: Picture Books (PDF). Friends of the CCBC Inc. p. 48. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  7. ^ "Ma Dear's Aprons". School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved March 29, 2017. Not only does McKissack's story pay tribute to the women who worked hard to support their families, it also demonstrates some of the ingenious ways parents helped their children cope with drudgery .. Floyd Cooper's compelling brown-tone paintings give the story a strong sense of its historical setting, even as they provide a timeless quality in a story about the love between a mother and her child.
  8. ^ Junko Yokota, ed. (2001). Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8 - 9: 3 History and Historical Fiction: Historical Fiction (PDF). National Council of Teachers of English. pp. 60, 61. Retrieved March 29, 2017.