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MAMA MINE, MAMA MINE by Rita Gray

MAMA MINE, MAMA MINE

By Rita Gray (Author) , Ponder Goembel (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-525-47206-3
Publisher: Dutton

In a farm setting, a human mother and assorted animal moms leave their offspring to take care of business: do farm chores (human), stalk a rat (cat), get shod (horse) and so forth. Each promises to return when her task is done. The stiff and jerky rhymes read awkwardly, working against the soothing message of reassurance. The illustrations of human beings—especially the mother, child and caregiver who anchor the story—are static, almost ominously devoid of warmth. They make no eye contact, staring past one another with bland smiles, a kind of rural Stepford family. This lack of emotional connection is puzzling given the subject matter: allaying the anxieties of small children when Mommy disappears from view. The portrayal of daily farm life, the book’s subtext, is also curiously flat, but the attractive animal illustrations provide some of the appeal and charm missing from their human counterparts. (Picture book. 2-5)