________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004

cover Mama's Home!

Paul Vos Benkowski. Illustrated by Jennifer Herbert.
San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2004.
12 pp., board, $7.95.
ISBN 0-8118-4214-2.

Subject Headings:
Father and child - Fiction.
Mother and child - Fiction.

Preschool / Ages 1-3.

Review by Lisa M. Sykes.

**½ /4

excerpt:

Let's go outside and wait
for Mama to come home.

Is that Mama?

No, that's not Mama,
that's just an ice-cream truck.

 

Mama's Home!, by Paul Vos Benkowski, is a board book for young toddlers which is meant to reassure and amuse at the same time. A young girl is anxiously awaiting her mother's return and is oblivious to all other distractions. On each page, she asks the question "Is that Mama?" as vehicles travel by. The responses include an ice-cream truck, a parade, a pirate ship and a circus train. Each of these fails to impress, until at long last, Mama's car is spotted, and the little girl is rewarded for her patience.

internal art

     Toddlers and caregivers alike will relate to the little girl's eagerness for her Mommy to return as, for many, this is a familiar part of their daily routine. Vos Benkowski's humourous approach will also be appreciated by readers who will note the irony that a wildly exciting parade or circus train cannot compete with a parent's arrival. The pattern of the simple text and the satisfying ending will appeal to very young readers.

     Jennifer Herbert has created the illustrations for Mama's Home! The paintings are filled with bold, contrasting colours and backgrounds meant to catch the reader's eye. Herbert's art style is unique as her human characters have a caricature-like or exaggerated quality about them. In this way, they are quite different than your average board book illustrations and may or may not appeal to children's individual tastes.

     Mama's Home! makes a fun afternoon read for little ones. (Adults could also switch “Mama” for “Daddy” etc. when reading aloud to suit their circumstances.)

Recommended.

Lisa Sykes has worked as an early years teacher and teacher-librarian. She currently resides in Barrie, ON, with her husband and three young children.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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