I LOVE MY MOTHER by Paul Zindel


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I love my mother. She bought me a boa constrictor for my birthday. I keep it next to my bed. . . ."" Though the second sentence promises something different, and Zindel does put in enough references to animals--both scary ones imagined at night and real ones visited at the zoo--to populate Melo's harsh, fantastic compositions, this turns out after all to be simply the mushy catalog its title would indicate. The ""I"" here loves his mother for all the old reasons (""She makes eggnogs and waffles and cheeseburgers, and she always saves her last french fry for me. . . . She kisses me before I dream and turns on the light when the gorilla grabs"") and some of the obligatory new ones (""She showed me how to kick a football. She has a nice nose and taught me judo""). But the teary clincher comes on the last page with the words ""When I tell her I miss my father, she hugs me and says he misses me too. I love my mother. I really do."" There's a facing picture in Melo's surreal commercial manner, superimposing a tender, sad embrace of child and parents upon the enlarged head of grieving, careworn mother. Until then double page pictures have alternated with double pages of text and space, making it even less likely that lap sitters will hold still for the recital.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row