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Friday, 2 May 2014

Everything is Awesome - Mother's Day Review

Q. What is as big as a mini iPad, more full of ideas than Paul Jennings and doesn't involve looming (of the rubber band type)?

A. Awesome Aussie Things to do with Mum.

Being a mum pretty much outstrips all other occupations for me. In spite of the startling similarities it shares to being a writer: negligible pay, crippling self-doubt and reoccurring frustration, the ecstasy received from ones own child is unrivalled. I wouldn't swap that feeling for all the stars and moons combined and neither would my Miss 8. Well, maybe she'd short-loan me for a few thousand looms. So in this age of screen-addicted, attention-deficient youngsters, books like these are worth their weight in mini-iPads.

Awesome Aussie Things to do with Mum by Ed Allen and Simon Williams, is quietly sensational from this X-generation mum's point of view.

Things I like:

  1. Nifty, no-nonsense hard-cover, compact size. It's an activities book disguised as favourite fiction.
  2. Groovy layout and design. The table of contents and layout are uncluttered and concise and a great example of procedural writing for primary-aged kids.
  3. It cleverly caters for boys and girls; keen to involve mum in their crafts, activities and projects by using personalised, conversational, upbeat text that reads like prose.
  4. It appeals to kids from all ilks of life. It doesn't matter if you have brothers or sisters, live in the city or by the sea, have a sweeping backyard or a bonsai balcony; there is something useful in here for everybody.
  5. The step-by-step instructions are so orderly and straightforward, even a mother could follow them. (And I have.)
  6. Ideas are followed up with Fun Facts and tips plus room to make your own notes or even rate the activities with mum.
  7. It covers a satisfying range of active and passive activities and projects, some sure to reawaken old fads. Remember knuckle bones - ALL of the stages? Cats' Cradle?
  8. It offers contemporary options for ancient skills. Need a new mobile phone cover? Why not knit one?
  9. The quirky abstract, line-drawings of Simon Williams bring humour and purpose to every section of the book.
Thing(s) I don't like:
  1. The finger-operated-paper-fortune teller things weren't named as I remember them, the name of which I frustratingly can't recall. Oh well, time to enlist the help of Miss 8 and her i Pad...
Things I loved:
  1. Throughout each instruction and at the conclusion, there was continual reinforcement of the notion that the most awesome thing of all that you can do for mum is...'to let her do absolutely nothing at all.' Amen to that.
Awesome Aussie Things to do with Mum is a lovely little book full of lovely little things to share with mum, especially if you are in need of a creative, recreational past-time other than looming. Bang on for Mother's Day.

Need more wholesome gift ideas? Check out some other Mother's Day literary highlights, here.