Children are mother watchers. They shop and compare. Sometimes the little ingrates brood aloud to their mothers along the lines of ""why can't you be more athletic?"" (or more glamorous? or more intellectual? etc.). The author takes off from this universal habit and provides a howling fantasy/satire. When the Martin children could no longer bear with their housekeeper who was ""....tall, pale and efficient. She smelled of clorox..."" a nice balmy flower witch on their street directed them to a market where they could shop around for a mother of their own. The Martins take a series on approval. Their choices ring the changes on all of the extremes. They start with the saccharine soft type, turn her in for a muscular outdoor enthusiast, shed her in exhaustion for a child psychologist who nearly drives them loony and finally arrive at a very ordinary, agreeable, loving mother that they keep despite her all around lack of startling accomplishments. The Mummy Market is a funny book. By every gray hair on Mother Machree, this may knock the selector market sideways. In this country, Motherhood is a Revered Institution. (At the adult level in fiction it is an Institution producing only traumas--why not laugh now psych later for younger readers?) And any Revered Institution worth its cornerstone ought to be able to survive its satirists, anyway.