MONSTER MAMA by Liz Rosenberg

MONSTER MAMA

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mama may be a "monster" who lives in a cave in back of the house and frightens neighbors with her moods, but she also paints (her true calling, it seems), gardens, bakes cookies, and has "the sweetest touch in the world" when her son is ill. Like her, Patrick Edward is fearless: When bullies taunt him ("Your mother wears army boots") and tie him up, he bursts his bonds and breaks their baseball bat. His mighty roar summons Mama, who chases the bullies home to make a new cake to replace the one they've just destroyed. The cake is shared; Mama gives Patrick Edward a hug ("I am your mother, even if I am a monster--and I love you"); and the admiring boys depart, remarking, "Your mother is something else." Sendak's Wild Things embody a child's inner life; here, parents' mysterious, often scary vagaries are personified by an extraordinary mother who is unpredictable, even fierce, but also creative, nurturing, and the source of her child's strength. Gammell's vibrant, freely rendered paintings magnify the ambivalence: clouds of dark lurk behind pervasive splashes of brilliant color; unkempt Mama, with hairy arms and pointy, multicolored fingernails, is almost terrifyingly bizarre; but the sturdy boy with his shock of tangerine hair is clearly a secure little person who can handle whatever life brings. This is not for the literal-minded: those who read the thematic title as an oxymoron may also feel challenged by the gorgeous, if unconventional, art. A splendid book that reaches deep into truth, not all of it cozy, and comes up smiling. (Picture book. 4-8)
Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-21989-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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