Book Reviews


Chief Condra Ridley, Storyteller

 Mama Joe’s Kitchen carries us on a journey that engages the senses in many delightful dimensions.  We are warmed by the love and laughter that fill the kitchen where Mama Joe and her family share the careful preparation and complete enjoyment of delicious biscuits, cakes, fruits and vegetables. The lush, abundant land around Mama Joe’s house with its diverse fragrances gently embraces us in a time when life’s rhythm is calm and soothing like a summer breeze. This family story allow us to experience with all our senses the good ol’ days when love was served generously in “heaping bowls and platters” for all. The whole family needs to come together for “Mama Joe’s Kitchen.” 

Cheryl Pruitt, Appleseed Writing Project

 This tender family story embodies those intangibles that all children need and deserve love, strong family, and a safe place. In preserving this piece of her own childhood, Ms. Butler reminds us that our beginnings sustain and sooth us throughout life. 

Marshall Fernando Aker, EdD, Putnam County (Georgia) Charter School System

 Reading your book, I could figuratively, “close my eyes”, and again become that six or seven year old boy! I could see my mom, dad, and brother in the car as we drove up to Jefferson, Georgia to come along the dirt road to Mama Joe’s house. I could see our family gathering under the tree. I could feel the cool breeze that flowed while sitting on her porch. I could visualize Aunt Bertha and could hear Aunt Vallie! I could feel Mama Joe, her hugs and smiles. Her kindness. Her love for us. With your story, I, as an adult, have a greater appreciation of Mama Joe. She was an amazing woman of strength, courage, and compassion. She taught us to honor and cherish family. Her countless examples of love, humility, and sacrifice will serve as inspiration for our family for years to come. 

Bonnie Carroll

I wish I had known Mama Joe, and even more, I wish I had had a Mama Joe.

John Homrig

Carol Butler and Karin Sköld have combined talents to write and illustrate a book for young people. . .that sets a tone for children that is a guide for how a life should be lived. . .The illustrations are colorful, but convey a calming and peaceful effect.

John Dickmeyer, Access Fort Wayne - Potpourri

 I think this is really a fabulous book.  It’s a homey book and that’s something that you don’t get with just anything.  People are trying to persuade you to do something or they have an agenda.  Your agenda is more nostalgic and it gives that comfort feeling.

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Contributed Reviews

Fun place to be . . .

CONGRATULATIONS on the success of 'Mama Joe's Kitchen'!  It is a FUN place to be.  I visit it often. - - - Carolyn Moore, Houston, TX 


His smile is the review . . .

Sometimes words just get in the way of a good review.  This is a five smile rated review by seven-year old Race.


An amazing journey . . .

This is such a heartfelt story that children of all ages will appreciate.  It is a story of Mama Joe, a women of vision, courage, tenacity, and forever love.  I had the good fortune many years ago to meet and fall in love with a descendant of Mama Joe's . . .  We married, and I  am coming up on 29 years of an awesome journey with this most amazing woman. So very proud of her and her accomplishments. Accomplishments that are made possible by her creativity, talent, her hard work and endless tenacity. - Tom Butler, Fort Wayne, IN.


This is it . . .

My Grandmother Skinner was the best cook ever.  Of all of the great things she cooked/baked, the thing I miss the most were her sugar cookies. She never made pound cake; if she did this would have been her recipe. - Dave Fiandt, Fort Wayne, IN