31 USES FOR A MOM by Harriet Ziefert

31 USES FOR A MOM

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

The team that listed 39 Uses for a Friend (not reviewed) finds fewer uses for mothers, but at least as inventive ones. The text consists entirely of one- or two-word numbered descriptors of mom activities, and the waggish pictures illustrate these with verve and humor. The range, which all moms and mom-like products will recognize, include “chauffeur,” “hairstylist,” “personal shopper,” and “answering service.” The pictures, created in “Flashe paint and ink on bristol board,” feature sturdy figures with spindly arms, round heads, inventively patterned clothing, and squiggly facial features on a white background. This allows the illustrator free reign: when a Mom is #10, “encyclopedia,” she lectures to her son with a butterfly alight on her finger and a broad-brimmed hat on her head, a few flowers suggesting the outdoors. Mom as #27, “bank,” has a mouth pressed into a straight and long-suffering line; Mom as #29, “hand holder,” sports a long braid, a polka-dot hat, and an accomplished air as she and daughter view their snowman. Perhaps a favorite is #12, “beach chair,” where Mom under an umbrella reads her magazine while her kid is neatly pillowed, stretched out on her lap and torso. Doughty’s minimal art allows for moms and offspring of many colors and hairstyles, including a suggestion of parents who may not always be the same hue as their children: Mom as pitcher, catcher, and retriever, numbers 21 through 23 (even losing her baseball cap in the process) is particularly apt and adept. Funny and oddly tender, moms and kids alike should enjoy continuing the list. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23862-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2002




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