A tall tale fit for worrying mothers everywhere.
Mama’s won blue ribbons in worrying, and between Midwestern weather and a toddler as slippery and wandering as her Eli, it’s no wonder. Well, when Mama gets to worrying, she tends to keep her hands busy. When she worries about a twister carrying off the farm, she knits scarves and hats and mittens for the farm animals—until she realizes that a twister really is carrying off baby Eli. And when she worries about the heat drying up the creek, she sews clothes for all the uncles, aunts, and cousins—until the river of sweat pouring off her sweeps off baby Eli. And when she worries about the heat popping the corn in the field, she cooks up a storm—until she notices that baby Eli is missing yet again. Some searching finds both him and some peace at last for worrying Mama. Balsaitis’ illustrations, which appear to be watercolor, extend the fun—the farm animals get into just as much mischief as Eli, and Mama’s Amelia Bedelia expressions play up her naiveté. While there is some diversity among the extended family, Mama and Eli are both white, his bowl haircut framing his innocent face.
Readers’ own mothers’ worries will seem tame in comparison. Follow this up with some McBroom for more tall tales from the farm. (Picture book. 4-8)