The Memory String

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Resentful of her new stepmother, Laura clings to a family heirloom, a "memory string" of buttons taken from special garments. As her father and her stepmother, Jane, paint the porch, Laura sits apart and fingers each button, loudly telling her cat about her great-grandmother's first "grown-up dress," her father's Gulf War service uniform and, last, the nightgown her mother was wearing when she died. Bunting's (Smoky Night) prose is as sure-footed as ever, but is much encumbered here by a contrived plot that has Laura losing the buttons and the family coming together in the search for them. A rapprochement between Laura and Jane, who finds the final missing button, is all but inevitable. Even Rand's (Baby in a Basket) light-dappled watercolors can't rescue the story from its didactic intent; this is likelier to engage adults looking for books that address a particular subject (such as stepparenting) than children.

在后院的橡树下,萝拉拿出传家宝——“记忆的项链”,对着冷漠的猫咪重述着每个纽扣的来历:一个是外曾祖母第一件成年礼服上的扣子,一个是妈妈结婚礼服上 的扣子,一个是爸爸军服上的扣子,一个是妈妈死时穿着的睡衣上的扣子……突然猫咪不耐烦地跳了起来,扯断了项链,所有的扣子散落一地。萝拉的爸爸和新妈妈 ——珍妮帮忙一起找回所有的纽扣,除了爸爸军服上的那一颗,萝拉伤心极了。晚上,萝拉听见爸爸在和珍妮商量直接从军服上再剪下一颗纽扣替代,但珍妮坚决反 对,她说:“萝拉宁可让那颗扣子搞丢,也不会要一个替代品。就像妈妈一样,没有人可以代替。”为此,萝拉想着珍妮的话,想了很多很多。最后爸爸军服上的扣 子能找回来吗?故事又会是怎么样的结局?让我们一起打开书来看看吧。

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