Book Bites: Mother's Day Moments


Before my beloved child transformed into a ghoulish teenager, her unconditional love for me was the wind in my sails, the gentle eddies that kept me afloat. It was the best (and most incredulous) thing ever being the best in her eyes. So books expressing the wonderfulness of motherhood create more than just joy through their tender sentiments, they stir up a certain wistfulness that turns dry eyes damp and melts hearts alloyed by time. Here are a couple of picture books that should find purchase with mothers at any stage of motherhood.

The Best Mum

I love this book. Its colour and verve jostle for attention from the gorgeous cover (which, along with the back cover, complements the story just brilliantly). I love the lux feel of the paper stock too, thick and glossy, perfect for repeated shared reading sessions with little hands that need to poke and stroke a story, like mine.

Penny Harrison’s amusing rhyming verse paints a clear and comical comparison between one little girl’s mother and everyone else’s. Everyone else’s mothers are practically perfect. They snip and sew, they swish and glide, they disco-dance and can whip up tantalising treats in the blink of an eye. And they are most definitely never ever late.

Our little girl’s mum is more a leaf out of my book. She’s not always a picture of grace and is pretty hopeless when it comes to costume making (I still haven’t made a single Book Week costume). I’ve tried my best to remain fit and fab but like most of us, feel most accomplished by the little things like remembering to feed the dog… and the family. But despite the fluster and flapping and occasional lateness, little girl’s mum is queen of cuddles and suits her just fine. Cue the tears.

Not only does this cute story chime with diverse reality, it reminds us that love comes in a multitude of forms. Special is as special does and that something special is what makes every relationship, and mother, unique, even if it’s just the way you’re kissed goodnight.

Sharon Davey’s illustrations sing with exuberant simplicity. The closer you look, the more you will see. Her portrayal of ‘mum’ in various throes of failure and shortcomings is both touching and comical, each set against a different background of patterns with a dominate hue, thus transporting readers through a rainbow of stimulating emotions as well; a veritable visual feast!

The Best Mum is a book for all the best mums out there. You know who you are because your children will remind you of this time and time again … before they become teenagers anyway. Highly recommended Mother’s Day reading.

Title:  The Best Mum
Author:  Penny Harrison
Illustrator:  Sharon Davey
Publisher:  New Frontier Publishing, $24.99
Publication Date:  March 2021
Format:  Hardcover
ISBN
: 9781922326225
For ages:  3 – 6 years
Type:  Picture Book

Buy the Book: New Frontier Publishing, Boomerang Books


There’s Only One Grandma Like You

Author Illustrator, Jess Racklyeft’s picture book collection, There’s Only One…is becoming a bit of an institution. This title, championing grandmothers of every creed and culture, is another soft watercolour tribute to those who play as important role in child rearing as any parent.

Grandmas are a beautiful swirling bubble of many coloured things. They are creative, kind and smart; just ask any toddler how handy they are at Playdough creation or dress ups or playing make believe. And you’ll never find a better giver of hugs, all day, any day. Grandmas help us forget the worrisome parts of our day, singing them away with a song and a smile. They know how to feed your greatest ideas because they can bake like nothing on earth.

Grandmas are mysterious, disguising secret talents under crocheted rugs and then again, there are those Grandma hugs. No matter what you call your grandmother, her love for you is something special and intimate and best shared together, with a tea party. I bet there is not a grandma out there who cannot relate in some way to the various aphorisms and antics played out here.

Through her unique unforced anthropomorphic style (tapirs parade comfortably alongside octopi and pray mantis) and delicate use of colour, Racklyeft illustrates the magnificent versatility and capacity for love grandmothers possess. There’s Only One Grandma Like You would make a touching and nurturing intergenerational gift to treasure for always this Mother’s Day.

Title:  There Is Only One Grandma Like You
Author / Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
Publisher: Affirm Press, $19.99
Publication Date:  March 2021
Format:  Hardcover
ISBN
: 9781922400680
For ages: 3 – 6
Type:  Picture Book

Buy the Book: Affirm Press, Boomerang Books

 

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