Over the years we have reviewed many books about moms. Here are a few that we’ve reviewed that didn’t make it into our previous Mother’s Day Books Lists, which you should totally check out too!
Her Mother’s Face by Roddy Doyle is not really a book for very young children, but I loved it. I would read it with a child who is 6 or older. The text is long, the humor is subtle but the message is fantastic. Set in Ireland, a little girl is silently suffering from her mom’s passing. She doesn’t tell anyone she is sad. She doesn’t tell anyone she can’t remember her mother’s face or that she can’t talk to her dad about her loss. A chance meeting with a young woman in a park changes things for her in the simplest of ways. As the years pass her pain lessens. Eventually, she is able to talk to her dad who clearly misses her mother desperately too.
This book wasn’t about the moment her mom passed away, but rather years later. About how she was trying to hold on to the memories and deal with her grief.
The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl. I had to search this book out. The title and author names were actually forgotten but I did remember that there was a child named Gunhilde! Thank goodness for Google! The story is very sweet with the Duchess giving her staff the day off because she wants to bake a cake for her family. Unfortunately, things go awry and the cake ends up huge with the Duchess stuck on top of it high in the air! A solution is found and things are fixed in the end.
I loved two things about this book as a child. The idea of everyone eating a giant cake to save the Duchess and that the Duchess was taller than the Duke. I remember thinking that was funny and I didn’t know that a wife could be taller than her husband. That’s the beauty of books, even picture books open children up to new experiences.
Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman is a book about the everyday life of a family with two moms. What I love about this book is that it showcases parts of the day that young toddlers through preschoolers can relate to easily. They have bath time, they go to the park, and they cook dinner. In other words, they are a family like any with a small child. My son loved this book and related easily to the baby in the book and to the experiences that they share. However, the book makes no political statement. There is no explanation of two mommies and it shouldn’t, it’s a book about one loving family and nothing more.
Back into Mommy’s Tummy by Thierry Robberecht made both my son and I laugh hysterically. Mostly because it was especially relevant to us. In the book, a little girl asks to go back into her mommy’s belly for her 5th birthday. She wants to stay close to her mom, never go to school, stay up as late as mom does and even tells her mom if she wants to see her she can go get an ultrasound and she’ll wave hello. The absurdity is awesome, and the sentiment is bang on. But, later in the book, we discover that mom is expecting. She asks her daughter if she is worried about her loving the new baby more.
I love how the author and illustrator Phillippe Goossens use humor to get to the heart of it all. My son is incredibly attached to me and this book opened up a great dialogue about having to share my snuggles and love.
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I wonder if the desire to go back to the womb (or at least to being a baby) is part of growing up. My daughter (who is the same age as your son, I think) was just telling me the other day that she wants to become a baby again and that she misses her crib and high chair. Perhaps we will look for that last book!
Oh I think it definitely is related to their anxiety and recognition that they are gaining independence, 4-5 is a big year where they are still so dependent on some things and seen as “big kids” with others. I think that is why their behaviour is so similar to teenagers at times. They are caught in the middle of two stages.
If you haven’t read it yet, Mary Ann Hoberman’s book “The Seven Silly Eaters” is another wonderful book about Mom and family dynamics. It’s one of my favourites (lol!)