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The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery Hardcover – March 15 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Product details

  • Hardcover : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1554702674
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1554702671
  • Product Dimensions : 22.86 x 1.27 x 25.4 cm
  • Publisher : Key Porter Books (March 15 2010)
  • Item Weight : 413 g
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

Product description

Quill & Quire

Fun is usually guaranteed when a child-like adult is in a position of authority. The motif has been well-established by the likes of the magical Mary Poppins, the idiom-challenged Amelia Bedelia, and the anarchic Cat in the Hat. Unfortunately, the unconventional mother in this first picture book by Rebecca Eckler (Knocked Up, Rotten Apple) and Erica Ehm (former MuchMusic VJ and founder of the Yummy Mummy Club) does not follow in the footsteps of these entertaining rabble-rousers.

The plot is summed up by the title. An outgoing, wacky mom goads her children into attending an art gallery party as her “dates.” The kids, Jessie and Josh, go reluctantly, fearing their maniacal matriarch will misbehave in her signature fashion. She does, of course, leading them into an off-limits room full of art supplies. The children eventually give up trying to play parents, join their mother in a painting free-for-all, and embrace being mortified by their mischievous mom.

Clumsy writing is not easily hidden in the spare text of a picture book, and the culprit here is redundancy. Eckler and Ehm repeatedly refer to their protagonist as a “Mischievous Mom,” in addition to noting her “mischievous grin” and “mischievous smile.” Demonstrating that a character is mischievous demands more than merely repeating the adjective, and the result is a flat caricature rather than an enthusiastic and empowered character.

Carrie Hartman’s illustrations are undeniably lively and vivacious, but there are inconsistencies between word and picture. At one point, the text says that “Jessie turned to her mother” to implore her to behave, but the illustration shows all three characters looking straight ahead with minimal facial expressions. At another point, the children are “desperately” trying to keep their mother in sight in an art gallery with only five visitors.

The front jacket material boasts that this book is “for modern moms and their children.” It is telling that the syntax of that sentence puts parent before tot, as this book is written with the parent, and not the child reader, in mind. More lesson than literature, the focus is on justifying the worth of a mom who wants to have fun, rather than actually creating fun through prose and pictures.


Praise for Rebecca Eckler`s Knocked Up “Knocked Up is what would happen if Bridget Jones was finally impregnated by Mark Darcy.... At the end of nine months, Eckler has covered the basics of young motherhood in her own quirky and outlandish way.” ? New York Daily News

“Painfully funny.... Readers are treated to Eckler`s biting wit.... It`s fun to watch [Eckler] change from the woman who dreaded seeing mothers with infants...to being a mother herself.” ? Los Angeles Times

“[Eckler`s] frankness, quirky style and light touch are a winning combination.” ? Kirkus Reviews

“..this mommy memoir feels like a humorous crash course in maturity.” ? Publishers Weekly

“Hit[s] the mark among twenty- and thirtysomething mothers.” ? Library Journal

“A downtown girl attempts a stylish switch to yummy mommy. There appears to be no detail she`s reluctant to share. This isn`t supposed to be a parenting manual; it`s meant to be a funny, lighthearted take on a life in transition!” ? The Toronto Star Praise for Carrie Hartman’s Child of Mind

“In fifteen compelling full-page illustrations and with just 153 words, the author captures the three most likely areas of life pain for children with behavioral and emotional difficulties: being angry, being sad, and being “different.” Her book reassures both the child and the parent and reminds us that the child`s potentials can be realized and that life, though stressful for a special-needs child, can be beautiful.”? Review from John F. Taylor, Ph.D., author, The Survival Guide for Kids with ADD or ADHD