Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MOTHER’S DAY MESS by Karen Gray Ruelle


by Karen Gray Ruelle & illustrated by Karen Gray Ruelle

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: March 15th, 2003
ISBN: 0-8234-1773-5
Publisher: Holiday House

Feline siblings Harry and Emily help their mother celebrate her special day in this sixth entry in the Harry and Emily Adventure series by Ruelle (Easy as Apple Pie, 2002, etc.). The mid-level easy reader text is divided into four chapters, with Ruelle’s naive drawings in a variety of formats adding their own understated charm. The kittens talk over Mother’s Day with both their mom and their dad, discuss what presents they could create, and decide on home-grown flowers and a home-cooked breakfast in bed as their gifts. They plant flower seeds for their mom, and when the big day arrives, they make lumpy marshmallow-and-peanut-butter pancakes to serve alongside their budding marigolds and a homemade card. Little sister Emily leaps on the bed, spilling everything, but her mom reassures her that, just as her own mother always said, a mother’s best Mother’s Day gifts are her own children. This sentimental though heart-felt conclusion is likely to appeal more to adults than children, but the earnest endeavors of the charming kittens are still engaging. The story also subtly reinforces some curriculum objectives through the details of several processes: planning for a family holiday, growing seeds, time sequences, gathering ingredients for a recipe, and cooking. Harry and Emily have quite a few more holidays to explore, and this publisher in particular seems likely to extend the franchise. (Easy reader. 5-8)