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A Special Day for Mommy Hardcover – March 23, 2004
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–A little pig tries to surprise her mother on her special day. She takes Mommy breakfast in bed, unaware that she is spilling milk along the way. Next, she makes a card and leaves behind a puddle of glue, pulls up daffodils from the garden, uses yards of toilet paper to make a bow for the vase, and gets jelly all over herself. As her mother cheerfully cleans up behind her, the piglet plods on, oblivious to the mess she is creating. The resulting "surprise"–a lunch of jelly sandwiches–is mostly the adult's work anyway. The young protagonist comes off more annoying than adorable in this ultimately pale and irritating story. The oil paintings portray a strangely posed and stiff pair of pigs who spend most of the story in front of one flat background after another. Douglas Wood's What Moms Can't Do (S & S, 2001), Charlotte Zolotow's Say It! (Greenwillow, 1980; o.p.), and Rosemary Wells's Hazel's Amazing Mother (Turtleback, 1985) are far more enchanting and inviting stories.–Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 1. For Mother's Day, a piglet sets out to surprise her mom by making her breakfast in bed, picking flowers (the daffodils her mom planted around the house), putting a bow on the bouquet (with toilet paper), and smooshing together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The spare text relies on the whimsical oil paintings to tell the real story as Mommy cleans up the mess--spilled cereal, dirt, streams of unwound toilet paper, and globs of jelly--left behind by her enthusiastic young one. The little pig shows her independence and love, and Mom pretends to be surprised by her child's efforts. Although the book was apparently designed as a gift book for the occasion, with a greeting card included, the affectionate bond between mother and child that shines out from the story will make this useful beyond the holiday. Both moms and kids will be tickled by the piggy objects around the house and by the piglet's childlike antics. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
The story is simple but heartfelt and recognizable. It's Mother's day in pig suburbia, and the little pig girl (or boy, it's kinda difficult to tell) wants to treat Mommy on her special day. The adorable little pig's desires are greater than her skill,; however, and such surprises as breakfast in bed, a homemade greeting, and a cake turn out, well, badly. The mother, in a familiar motif, winds up doing more than she normally would as she somewhat secretly cleans up behind her child. It's touching, because both Mother and little pig are showing their love for each other, whether it's the little one tearing out the planted daffodils ("Mommy loves yellow daffodils. I know because she planted them all around the house") or the Mom cleaning the messy house or the messy piglet who spilled everything! Some of the scenes are a bit jumpy, you have to infer that the little pig did something to make breakfast in bed turn into breakfast on the floor beside the bed (maybe the pig excitedly jumped up and down). If you're prepared for these few discontinuities beforehand, you can have fun with your audience by asking, "Now how do you suppose that happened?"
This is a funny and fun book that shows how even the best-laid plans of pigs and people often go awry, but need not diminish the thought and effort that went into them. Dan Andreasen's pastel colors shows a real warmth between the two porcine ones, and his setting is a simple, uncomplicated one where pigs--not possessions--matter most. There's a real warmth evoked by the look of the 40's and the old-fashioned look of claymation and the stylizations of the 1940's. An excellent book for the young toddler set.
The little pig in this book wants to make a nice treat for her mother. Well, okay - fair enough.
But everything she does is really making her mother clean up after her all day - and her mother just smiles and allows this! Very unrealistic, and I'm not sure it's the best message, either.
So, the pig makes breakfast - and spills it all on the floor. Later, we see Mom mopping it up. In our house, if you spill something, you clean it up yourself. But she's enthused and it's a special occasion - okay.
So she makes a card for her mom, and she leaves the glue on the table in such a way that it spills on the floor - and in that scene we see Mom wordlessly wiping it up, while her daughter pays attention to nothing but her card. Well, in our house, again, we clean up our own messes, and at the very least we're reminded nicely to not leave things in such a way that they *make* a mess.
Mom loves daffodils, she planted them all around the house - so the kid picks them all up (unsupervised). And mom smiles! We don't pick flowers without asking. Period. (Mom picks up the dirt, and fills a vase, and cleans up the toilet paper that the kid used to make a bow.)
To top it all off, the book ends with the line "Bet you wish EVERY day was Mommy's Day", which (given the illustrations and text) seems to me to be intended as sarcasm - Mom did all the work, she'd rather have rested? But the illustration has the mom smiling at the kid, so... I don't know. It doesn't seem to fit together. It's like the author was unsure whether that line was directed towards kids or adults.
I get that kids get enthused, and they forget how to act, and they do things like this. But that's why you remind them. Gently, nicely - but firmly - that they can't simply run roughshod over everything and have others smile. It's not realistic, and it's not fair, either to the kid or to the people around them.
Anyway, the piglet is just annoying. The editor's review above is absolutely correct.
The illustrations are simple and uncluttered, yet have interesting detail, as in the rust stains seeping down the walls of the basement and the colored dots on the bread wrapper, reminiscent of Wonder bread.
The book comes with a free greeting card, blank inside, that any child will be happy to sign for an instant "I love you." A Special Day For Mommy is aimed at ages 3 to 6, and will make a wonderful read aloud for all mommys and daddys to read to their children.