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When Mama Comes Home Tonight Hardcover – September 1, 1998

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The remains of the day are softly romanticized in this gentle lullaby book about a mother and child reunion. "When Mama comes home from work, dear child, when Mama comes home tonight, she'll say, 'Let's put your blocks away--the red, the green, the white.' She'll fix herself a cup of tea, and let you have a sip. She'll mend your blue pajamas and her own pink satin slip." The real-life weekday evenings of a working mother and her child may not be as rosy and calm; in this lovely interlude there's also time for pat-a-cake, stargazing, and plenty of rocking chair cuddles. But like a simple prayer, Eileen Spinelli's rhyming verse and Mem Fox's (Time for Bed) creamy pastel illustrations praise this everlasting mother-child connection and offer hope for the peaceful nights and soothing images we long for. (Click to see a sample spread. From When Mama Comes Home Tonight, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Text ©1998 by Eileen Spinelli. Illustrations ©1998 by Jane Dyer.) (Baby to preschool) --Gail Hudson

From Publishers Weekly

Mother returns from her job to spend an evening of play and bath time with a sleepy, grateful toddler in this comforting picture book. Spinelli's (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch) brief, rhythmic sentences immediately establish the mood: "When Mama comes home from work, dear child,/ when Mama comes home tonight,/ she'll cover you with kisses,/ she'll hug you sweet and tight." Inspired by the work of Mary Cassatt, Dyer (Time for Bed) composes scenes of quiet domestic harmony, centering on a plump, porcelain-skinned mother in a long flowered dress and her copper-tressed son or daughter in overalls. Text and art depict Mama as an embracing, nurturing and very feminine presence. She plays pat-a-cake with Baby, counts the cars on the small-town street, mends Baby's pajamas and "her own pink satin slip," and fixes herself a cup of tea. The setting is carefully timeless: the clapboard house and playthings old-fashioned, the clothing and furniture as appropriate a few generations ago as today. Spot illustrations lovingly highlight various objects?bowl of soup and cup of applesauce, Baby's sandals, rubber duck, brush, teddy bear?for young readers to recognize and practice naming (in one inventive touch, for "lullabies," musical notes play "Rock-a-Bye Baby" on a star-filled staff set against the sky). The book works marvelously as a soporific, and will reassure anxiously waiting children as well as the parents who dash home to put them to bed. Ages 6 mos.-5 yrs.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1st ed edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689810652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689810657
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jen on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I think I love it even more than my children do (and, like one reader said, it makes me weepy, too). I don't do everything this Mama does when she gets home, but I love that she's shown doing a chore (mending) as well as playing with her child. I especially love that we see them at night--relatively, I spend so few daylight hours with my kids. This book is more reflective of our life than most of the books we read. And it's just so sweet--a comfy-cozy good read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shelli Thelen on January 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
When Mama Comes Home Tonight may retell a day's events for working moms but the message is not exclusive to working women's children. This is a fantastic book because of its literary gift to children. The rhythmic, repetitive text encourages even young toddlers to chime in. I am a huge fan of illustrator Jane Dyer, who's illustrations contribute to the calming mood of the story. This book is a winner FOR ALL FAMILIES OF ALL MAKE UPS AND OCCUPATIONS. (It is a book that children of working parents can greatly relate to as well!) It is definitely a book that will be reread each night since it's message rings true to all children-- a parent's love and time is inmeasurable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Yvette Lyons on July 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is my absolute favorite book to read to my son and daughter. Until recently I worked full time and went to school 3/4 time. During the work week I got home at 8:00 at night and had an hour to spend with my 3 and 5 year old. We would read most of the time and they asked for this book every night. My son in particular is a mommy's boy and he really missed seeing me everyday. He could relate to the special things you get to do when "mama" comes home. This book is pretty short, and simple. The illustrations are beautiful. This book also makes a great baby shower gift. I give it 5+ stars!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shelby (shelby71@gateway.net) on November 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book! I am a single Mom (not by choice) and have to re-enter the workforce. I have been trying to find a way to let my son know that Mommy will be home later and that I can't wait to be with him as much as he can't wait for me. My son is my whole life and this book is helping him into the transition of me going back to work. I highly recommend this book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carol J. Marotti on June 7, 2001
Format: Board book
I LOVE this book! I loved it even more when my 2 1/2 year old "read" it to me.
The book tells a story of what Mom will do with her baby when she comes home from work. Like "Dance down the hall" and "make a cup of tea and give baby a sip". My daughter tries to re-inact the scenes. One of the scenes is of Mommy leaving on a small light at bedtime. My daughter asked about her "small light". We don't normally read books in my rocking chair, but she saw that in the book and wanted to start. We now dance (or fly) down the hall.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Parker on June 19, 2001
Format: Board book
This is an all time favorite of myself and my three year old daughter. The gentel reassurance of all the great things parent and child will do together when mama comes home tonight. This book helps calm children after a busy day and shows them all the things that they can look forward to doing with mama. A touching and beautiful book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 2001
Format: Board book
This became my nearly two year old daughter's favorite book about a few months ago and we have read it many, many, many times a day since then.
It's an easy book to personalize as you read it, and I ad lib while reading it to match the day's events. It's suitable for both girls and boys.
Every working Mum should have this book on hand to help reconnect at the end of the day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a heartwarming poem of a book, with big happyillustrations & caring ideas especially focused for the workingwoman. I would have loved having this book in my library when I was a working mom. For when I came home & went through our rituals of baths, pyjamas, reading & prayers. A quiet & loving oasis amid the cacophony of our hectic daily lives. Lovely stuff!
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