MOTHER MURPHY by Colleen O’Shaughnessy McKenna


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 Collette's world turns upside down when she learns that her mother is expecting a fifth child, but in the end the Murphys work together to avoid losing a baby they discover they all very much want. For Collette at 11, ``the nice part about holding babies that didn't live in your house was that you could return them when they got in the way or their diaper smelled.'' Feeling guilty because she's seen only the pits and not the cherries, Collette eagerly takes charge when her mother is suddenly confined to bed. In the manner of the folk tale about the husband minding the house, her day provides numerous challenges--brother Stevie's tongue freezes onto a doorknob, sister Laura locks herself in the bathroom, Collette burns brother Jeff's cookies, and the little kids disappear into the house where ``the lady who eats cats'' lives. Just as Collette reaches the end of her endurance, her father arrives with pizza--and she discovers that they all think she has been a wonderful babysitter. In this wholesome, funny story about that increasingly atypical phenomenon, a nuclear family where the mother stays home, McKenna gets it just right. A welcome addition to the series about Collette and her loving family. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-590-44820-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1992


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