Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: Never Too Late for Mother's Day Books

Yeah, so that TBR pile I mentioned dates back a bit. I was sent these books to review in time for Mother's Day, and...that obviously didn't happen. Fortunately, these are books that can happily be read all year round, and there are some sweet ones!

Silly Wonderful You

Before YOU came along, so many things were different! But now there's a giggly baby, a house full of adventures and toys, a million little surprises. . . . And so much love.

The illustrations looked familiar right away, and sure enough - this is Patrick McDonnell, who illustrated The Skunk, a book I have used in story time, and The Perfectly Messed-Up Story, one of my class visit staples. Just look at that sweet face on the cover! Did you automatically want to reach down and pick her up, like I did?

This is one of those books that is written as much for the adults as they are for the kids, which may be appreciated in story times. Both parents and children will chuckle as they recognize familiar surprises (like finding "so many things in unusual places" - Daddy has learned to be careful putting his boots on!) Choosing books children can see themselves in is a big step in promoting love for reading, and the scenarios in here are pretty universal. We never see another family member, so this could be any family that includes at least one mother and at least one child. One busy, sticky, loud, cuddly child.

You Made Me a Mother

Another familiar illustrator (Fancy Nancy, of course), the text for this one reportedly started off as an advertisement. It focuses on a mother's excitement and nervousness as she waits for her baby to arrive, and then guides him as he grows up. "I followed advice. I read twelve books. I ate lots of spinach...I wasn't sure I was ready. But then you were here." A very sweet book, but I think it will speak more to mothers than to children, who aren't going to readily identify with the mother's feelings. Both the illustrations and text would make this a perfect baby shower gift, though. Nothing like making the hormonal expectant Mommy cry!

All We Know

A seed knows how to sprout. A lamb knows how to bleat. A bee knows where the nectar is to make the honey sweet. Stars shine, seasons change, and waves rise and fall. Invoking the majestic beauty of the natural world, a mother affectionately explains that some things just come naturally—like a parent’s love. a world with postpartum depression and news of abusive parents, the description alone seems slightly guilt-producing. A nice enough book that I will put on my shelves, but nothing I would bring out in a group, especially not knowing everyone's stories. If nothing else, though, the pictures and comparisons might make this a good introduction to discussions about nature, animal instincts, etc. - provided the ending isn't a trigger for the reader!

So, one hit, one maybe, and one...meh. With lots of color in the pictures, but...a little diversity in skin tone, please, HarperCollins?

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