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Mama's Coming Home Hardcover – March 3, 2003
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
Its after six, and Mama has a long commute home from work--she must make her way through the streets, past a pet store, down to the train, through the rain, past the streetlights, and up the walk to her urban brownstone. Meanwhile, Modern Dad (complete with flowered apron) has plenty of time to make a pizza for dinner and feed the baby, all the while supervising two boys, a dog, and a cat. This singsong story, with "Mamas coming home" as the refrain, marches forth through time as rhythmically as the clock going "tick tock" on the wall: "Boys are sprawling on the floor / Babys crawling toward the door / The sidewalk throbs with footsteps / Mamas coming home" Weve encountered the creative teamwork of Kate Banks and Tomek Bogacki before in The Bird, the Monkey, and the Snake in the Jungle and The Turtle and the Hippopotamus. Bogacki treats his human subjects with intriguing angles and rather delicious colors as he neatly juxtaposes the chaos of home with that of the busy outside world. Young children will certainly relate to both the anticipation of and preparations for a parent returning from work: "Kisses flying / No more crying /Mamas at the door." (Ages 3 to 6) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Mom is at work; dad is at home with the three kids, the dog, and the cat; and everyone is excited about meeting up at the end of the day. The illustrations show the father and children on the left side of the spread, and the mother in her travels on the right. Sometimes the two mesh together seamlessly, as in the spread where the children are shown playing on the floor with their toy trains while their mother is running down the stairs at the train station. More often than not, however, the book feels jagged, with sentences such as "Boys have got the table made. Laid with plates and silverware. Eager feet are hastening. Mama's coming home." The tepid illustrations fail to breathe life into this scenario, appearing too cartoonish and stilted. There isn't much difference in the expressions shown on the people in the background and those of the family members, leaving readers with a one-dimensional view of the subjects. While the concept of dad at home and mom returning from a full day of work is a timely one, ultimately this book is an additional purchase for larger collections.
Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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Whilst brief, it has a certain attraction (no not just the brevity) in the wonky joyful urgent pictures.
Papa is at home with the children doing all those household things, soothing woes and feeding the dog, the cat and the baby, getting the boys to pick up their toys and making dinner.
Meanwhile alternating pages show mama closing up the shops and hurrying home - on the train and through the rain.
The artist has drawn in the urgency of getting home, and mama dominates the pages by mostly being taller and more vital than the other characters.
The words have a rhythmic quality and my 3yr old loves this book. He delights in the details eg mama closes up a PET shop, gets WET with rain, the boys play with their TRAIN set.
It starts like this:
The clock goes ticktock on the wall.
The phone is ringing down the hall.
Shops are closing for the day.
Mama's coming home.
The Mama's coming home refrain is repeated on every second page and there is an illustration of where she is and what she's doing, in comparasion to the doings at the house.
It would be a nice little adjuster for any child who doesn't understand "whyyyy" he has to wait for mommy or papa to arrive. Cute.
I wish it was easier to get a new copy, but it was totally worth it for us to get a used copy to have this lovely story in our house. Both my 20 month old and nearly 4 year old love this one, and it can sometimes be tough to find bedtime stories that work for both kids.