________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 25 . . . . March 1, 2013


SuperMom and the Big Baby.

Dave Driver. Illustrated by Guy Laird.
Regina, SK: DriverWorks Ink, 2012.
32 pp., pbk., $13.95.
ISBN 978-1-927570-01-2.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*½ /4



"Easton ... look at the blocks!" shouted Dad.

"Bocks!" shouted Easton, as he made his way toward the stack of items.

"Uh-oh, honey ... He's coming this way," said SuperMom.

"Have fun with your blocks," called Dad, as Easton started to climb the stacked items.

"Be careful on the table though, 'K?" said SuperMom.

Easton stopped playing and looked at all the people staring at him. "Gits," said Easton, pointing at everyone gathering around him.

"Yeah, that's right, they're all gits. You're smart," said SuperMom.

In this tall tale, a toddler's temper tantrum causes him to grow to be the size of a giant. Easton bursts through "SuperMom" to save her son. As Easton wrecks havoc on the community, Dad and SuperMom are in pursuit. After a madcap chase, SuperMom finally catches up to Easton, and a kiss on the nose shrinks him back to normal.

internal art      Guy Laird's digitally-created cartoon illustrations capture the over-the-top silliness of the story. Easton appears as a cherubic, smiling child. There are comical scenes where the neighbours run away in wide-eyed terror as the bare-footed Easton stomps through the suburbs and shakes big trucks.

      An author's end note explains the inspiration for this book. All of SuperMom's dialogue consists entirely of the "ramblings" of Driver's sleep-talking wife. While this creative method has lots of significance to family members (the story was created as a Christmas present), it does present problems. Because the plot is contrived around these random sentences, the action is forced, and the dialogue is very stilted. Many of SuperMom's comments do not fit the character of a mother worried about her son's predicament. When Easton rips off a fire hydrant and tries to batter a statue, SuperMom laughs and says, "Up the clown's nose." After Easton is safely back at home, SuperMom becomes angry for no apparent reason and shouts, "You think I'm doing it for me? Just wait 'til you wake up tomorrow and get kifkorse ... Yeah kifkorse." These strange reactions detract from the story. Many sentences do not make any sense ("Who has snugs in their house"). The other characters are also bewildered: "What are they talking about, Daddy? ... Not sure". Unfortunately, many readers may have the same reaction.

Not Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

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

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