Review Blog

Apr 15 2020

My Mama by Annemarie van Haeringen

cover image

Gecko Press. ISBN: 9781776572687. 32pp.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Mama and her baby play together, her in her big floral day dress and he in his very fetching floral pants. Baby elephant feels very safe with his Mama: they play together, play on the swings, play with the toy cars on the floor, go shopping, all the while he is learning new experiences, while she is teaching him about the world, showing him how to behave. He tells us that he can climb a great mountain as he scrambles along her back, easily hide from her until he jumps out from behind her legs and shows himself, push her on the swing until she gets up higher, and help her with the shopping when he eats all the chips. Children will laugh loudly at the little elephant thinking her is helping Mama when it is really the other way around. Their life together is full of love, companionship and laughs, although now and again she has to tell him at length about what he has done wrong.
Translated from the Dutch, the story reflects a universal mother son relationship, and the wonderful sparse illustrations magnify the already large pair of animals.
Reflecting the striving of all children to be allowed more freedom, the story pokes gentle fun at the child who thinks he is ready to leave home and fly, when really he does what he does because Mama is there right by his side. Themes: Elephants, Mothers, Growing up.
Fran Knight

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