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I LOVE MOM by Joanna Walsh


by Joanna Walsh ; illustrated by Judi Abbot

Pub Date: Dec. 16th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4814-2808-8
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

A mother tiger and her two cubs show their love for each other in this slim tale.

This slightly oversized title features an adorable feline trio cuddling under pink foil hearts on the cover. Within, one of the cubs sings a paean to Mom. She plays the best games, bakes the best goodies—even evidently does the best laundry (“No jammies are so warm or so snuggly”). How right it is to appreciate imaginative craft ideas, baking skill and expert mediation between tussling siblings, but this mother is omnipresent. The bright illustrations exude child appeal, but they fail to make up for the often oddly worded text: “Some games are fun games but not like Mom’s games,” or “No one brings the sky closer to the seesaw.” Another misstep is in the depiction throughout of two little tigers but the dominant use of a singular pronoun; the first textual reference to a sibling is an abrupt transition to Mom-as-peacemaker: “But if we fight….” The intention of the whole is clearly to celebrate the mother-child bond, but it’s too bad it is not greater than its parts. Walsh and Abbot have collaborated before—with The Biggest Kiss and The Perfect Hug (2011, 2012)—with more impressive results.

Books about moms and their appreciative children abound. Pass on this lackluster offering.

(Picture book. 3-5)