The mother plays a fundamental role in a child's development, which does not become less important in adult life. The maternal figure has undergone considerable evolution over time, adapting to the continuous changes in increasingly complex societies. Just think of how the family unit has changed and now includes single-parent and extended or homogenous families, and how the need to reconcile life and work in different contexts has evolved, in which needs arise dictated by new routines and rhythms of life. Mother's Day, celebrated on 8 May, invites us to reflect on the many aspects of a topic that has always attracted the attention of scholars, experts, and representatives of the world of art and culture.
On this special day, we want to recommend two books on the maternal figure: one for children, the other for adults.
Among the books for younger children, "Lei ci sarà sempre" by Manon Gauthier and Thierry Lenain (Il leone verde, 2020) stands out. It is a moving eulogy on motherhood and the memories that make the bond between mother and child unique. Reading age: 4 and above.
Beatrice Alemagna's book Le cose che passano (Topipittori, 2019), talks about the little things in life that change and disappear, such as a nap from which you wake up or a small wound that heals. An unstoppable flux of events in which there is only one thing that will never change and will be constant forever. Reading age: 1 and above.
Two other books worth reading are "Mia mamma è un pirata", by Karine Surugue (Fatatrac, 2019), a story that addresses the theme of a parent's illness (reading age: 6 and above) and "Una mamma albero", by Lucia Panzieri (Lapis, 2018), a sweet and poetic fairy tale that tells the emotional tale of the unique and deep relationship between a mother and her child (reading age: 3-6).
Among the recently published novels for adults, we'd like to suggest "L'acqua del lago non è mai dolce", by Giulia Caminito (Bompiani, 2021). Antonia, the protagonist, is a proud woman that stubbornly takes care of a disabled husband and four children on her own. Antonia is very honest and believes in the common good, but she wants to teach her only daughter to rely on her own resources and to hold her head high.
Quello che non sai, by Suzy Galluzzo (Fazi, 2021), a novel about motherhood and the fear of never being an adequate mother. Through the story of an unavoidable separation, narrated in a crescendo of contrasting feelings, the author sets the scene for the protagonist's personal failure by continually changing the perspective in a complex and exciting psychological game.
Another important theme is addressed in "Splendi come vita", by Maria Grazia Calandrone (Ponte alle Grazie, 2021), a letter from a child to their adoptive mother.
All the books mentioned above are included in the bibliography edited by the Biblioteca Innocenti Library BC Moro on the occasion of Mother's Day, which also includes other titles on the maternal figure for all ages.
The following study materials selected by the Biblioteca Innocenti Library B.C. Moro are also worth reading: bibliographic research on motherhood; bibliographic research on reconciling family life and work; bibliographic research on motherhood in adolescence; bibliographic research on the relationship between mothers and children; bibliographic research on pregnancy and childbirth.
For more detailed information on the topic of work and motherhood from a legal point of view, we suggest the regulatory framework developed by the National Documentation and Analysis Centre for Children and Adolescents.