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Mommy? ( a pop-up book) Hardcover – September 26, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Children who get the better of monsters are a Sendak specialty, from Where the Wild Things Are to Brundibar. In this light bite of spine-tingling fare created by Sendak, Yorinks (Hey, Al) and Reinhart (Encyclopedia Prehistorica)—sort of a dark twist on Are You My Mother?—a mischievous boy addresses the title question to some unmaternal characters. Sendak's quintessential black-haired boy (with a strong resemblance to Mickey), wearing blue PJs and a red cap, wanders into a haunted house and naively calls, "Mommy?" Stylized, softened characters from Nosferatu and Lon Chaney creature features unfold in 3-D to menace the child, but the boy might as well be saying, "Trick or treat?", because he pulls pranks on everyone. A tall Frankenstein's monster gets ready to stomp on him; in a gatefold at the right-hand side of the spread, the disarming toddler jerks the bolts from the startled monster's neck. On a brick roof, the boy surprises a werewolf and a green goblin; the gatefold reveals the boy yanking down the Wolf Man's jeans to reveal silly boxer shorts, while the goblin giggles. In Reinhart's neatest engineering feat—a spinning dowel-and-string contraption—the not-so-harmless boy spins the white wrappings off an Egyptian "mummy." The title is the book's only word until the conclusion, when the Bride of Frankenstein at last replies to the child's question. Although the illustrious creators' do not appear until the back cover, readers cannot miss Sendak's signature graphic style. These gags are not too serious, but the suspenseful setups pointedly suggest humor's power over fear. All ages. (Sept.)
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From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 4–This pop-up tour de force abounds with humor, vibrant artwork, and visual fireworks. A sweet-faced tyke, attired in a sky-blue onesie and fuzzy hat, toddles into a creepy house. Unperturbed by his gruesome surroundings, he encounters one monster after another, calmly asking each, Mommy? Although the creatures try their best to scare him, the childs unwavering smile and mischievous actions quickly clarify whos in charge. The youngster corks a ghouls fang-filled mouth with a pacifier, removes the bolts from Frankensteins neck, unwraps a startled mummy, and pulls down a werewolfs pants before making his way to the welcoming arms of Frankensteins bride (Baby!). Masterfully illustrated in Sendaks familiar style and muted palette, the almost-wordless pages are chock-full of skeletons, mysterious lab equipment, and strange vessels brimming with unidentifiable contents. Amusing details include a framed baby picture of a dour-faced, diaper-clad Frankenstein and the werewolfs bright-yellow boxers. Each three-dimensional spread features an additional foldout pop-up, adding another element of surprise. The effects are delightful, as characters burst from hiding places with limbs flailing, heads move and eyes open and close, and the mummy–complete with shoelace bandages–spins around and around as the boy tugs a loose end. A fun, not-too-frightening romp thats loaded with child appeal.–Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Michael di Capua Books / Scholastic; 1st edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780439880503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439880503
  • ASIN: 0439880505
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 8.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By dephal VINE VOICE on October 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a Sendak junkie since I was a kid. His books have always been among my very favorites, and I'm happy to say they're among my kids' favorites as well. I also love pop-ups, so I was really excited to learn about this book. And I must say, my expectations have been surpassed.

The story line is very simple: a young child looks for his Mommy, encountering various monsters along the way and defeating them in creative ways. There are only a few written words in the book. But the story that the pictures tell is wonderful. What child wouldn't be delighted by a book in which a kid defeats the wolfman by pantsing him? Nosferatu gets a binky! And there's a ton of detail in the pictures as well. My girls like to spend several minutes looking at each page spread.

Then there are the pop-ups. This book is really a paper engineering marvel. The pop-up bits are enormously detailed and full of movement. My favorite part is when the boy unwraps the mummy. It's an understatement to say the pop-ups are spectacular.

The only reservation at all I have about this book is that my kids will probably love it to death. Like another reviewer, I think I'm going to buy them their own copy and keep one for myself!

If you have the least interest in Sendak or pop-ups, or think you might, buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover
In the April 17, 2006 edition of "The New Yorker", there was a remarkable article by Cynthia Zarin on Maurice Sendak. In the article was a whole host of interesting information regarding Sendak's past, literary achievements, and current untouchable status as an icon. At one point, Sendak discusses the character of Max from "Where the Wild Things Are". He says of his character, "My God, Max would be what now, forty-eight? He's still unmarried, he's living in Brooklyn. He's a computer maven. He's totally ungifted. He wears a wolf suit when he's at home with his mother!" Later, Zarin touches a little too close to the subject of the author's parents. "If I had a real mother and she made me happy, and a real father who made me happy, I would be working in the computer store with Max", he points out. Now, I don't like to come off as a person who reads too much into a cute l'il ole pop-up book, but it seems to me as if a thorough reading of, "Mommy?", could only be helped by knowing the above information. This is probably the most interesting, most elaborate, and most enjoyable Sendak creation to hit the market in years. It deserves a bit o' critique.

A small boy in blue footie pajamas, sporting a red cap on his head, bursts through the front door of a magnificently haunted castle. Our intrepid hero offers a quizzical, "Mommy?" on every page before defeating a variety of different movie monsters in wholly original ways. Right off the bat he stumbles past Doctor Frankenstein before popping a pacifier into a spooky Nosferatu lookalike. No Frankenstein's monster fears he. It's amazing what the removal of those bolts around his neck can accomplish. Whether he's unraveling a mummy or causing the Wolfman to drop trou, the kid has everything well in hand.
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By Andy H on October 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I recently heard an interview on NPR with Maurice Sendak. He talked about how this was his first pop-up book. However, he had been very interested for years in 19th century pop-ups, such as the works of the great Munich artisan, Lothar Meggendorfer. I've loved Sendak's style for years so I was quite excited by the prospects of his new endeavor.

This book is truly beautiful. Astonishingly so. It did scare my 2 year old daughter a bit, but she's warming up to it seeing how much enjoyment her father is getting from it.

Good stuff.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My kids and I love pop-up books, and I love paper engineering and building castles and palaces out of paper. When I read this book, I was amazed at how intricate the pop-ups were. Whereas most pop-up books may have 5 or so different pieces of paper on each page, this book has what looks to be 3 to 5 times that number of different small pieces of paper that all interconnect and make an amazing picture. I can't believe they were able to produce this book for the retail price! Surely it can't be by machine? Anyways, your kids will love it, although younger ones will need help closing the pages so that the pieces don't get mangled. I might buy 2 - one for the kids to read and probably destroy, and 1 for my collection. Highly recommended if you love pop-up books!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fun comical book for children who want to read something mysterious. This cute book gives the reader the enthusiasm in turning the pages to see what happens of the young boy going into a creepy house focusing on the search of his mother.

Cynthia Marie Rizzo, author of "Julie and the Unicorn" and "Angela and the Princess"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I received this pop-up Sendak, Reinhart book I was at first a little dissapointed in it's size, I thought it would be bigger. But when I opened it's pages that dissapoinment quickly dissapeared, replaced by amazement and delight! If you are a fan of the classic Universal monster movies and also enjoy THE MUNSTERS tv series and MAD MONSTER PARTY from Rankin Bass, then this delightful pop-book is for you!! The pop -up beasties are so loveingly rendored by Maurice Sendak in his WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE style and they just spring off the pages with Matthew Reinhardt's inventive and amazing pop-up enginering! I love that baby pulling the bandages of the mummy to make him spin! The mummy goes from looking like Boris Karloff's mummy to looking dizzy and goofy when the child( who looks like Max from WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE) spins him like a top!! And I love that the toddler's MOMMY is none other then a smiling BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN who looks like Elsa Lanchester in her BRIDE monster make up wearing cute red high heels! It amazes me how big and intricate the pop-ups are in the small limeted space of this book! And she rises from a sitting position to standing up with her head turning downward to her Baby saying MOMMY while she exclaims BABY! in a cartoon speech balloon that has the words printed in electric bolt lettering! The book's description says this is Sendak's first pop-up book so I believe it's also his last since he died in 2012, the same year my mother died at age 91! It makes me wish he would still be alive along with my mother! I feel the impulse to watch my BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN vhs tape again starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester! This is bound to become a prized collecter's item so keep it on a dry protected book shelf! I sure will!
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