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When Mama Comes Home Tonight Hardcover – Picture Book, September 1, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 145 ratings

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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.
Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0689810652
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0689810657
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 1 - 4 years, from customers
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.5 x 0.4 x 10.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 145 ratings

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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

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
145 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 23, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 4, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
By K on March 4, 2021
It was purchased used. The binding is very worn. Other than that it is perfect! My baby loved this book at bedtime. Glad I could find another copy.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 7, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

Shadowfax
5.0 out of 5 stars Working mothers need this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 7, 2013
Raven
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 26, 2019
Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for moms returning to work
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on June 7, 2014