Tuesday, April 17, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] Monster Mama by Liz Rosenberg

Title:  Monster Mama

Author: Liz Rosenberg

Artist: Stephen Gammell

Genre: Monsters / Family / Bullying

Year Published: 1993

Year Read: 1996

Publisher:  Puffin

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Scary Imagery)

Imagine that your mother was actually a terrifying monster that scares anyone who comes across her, but you still love your mother anyway because, she is your mother!  That is what happens in this story called “Monster Mama” which was written by Liz Rosenberg along with illustrations by Stephen Gammell and children everywhere will definitely enjoy reading this book about loving your parents for who they are.

Patrick Edward was a young boy who was extremely wonderful, but his mother is a monster and she lived in a cave at the back of their house.  Even though his mother was a monster, she truly cared for her son Patrick Edward as she tended to him when he was sick and taught him magic spells that could put anyone to sleep.  One day, Monster Mama, whom Patrick Edward affection ally calls her, wanted Patrick Edward to pick up some strawberries for a dessert she wants to make.  So, Patrick Edward decides to go to the new market across town and buy some strawberry tarts.  Unfortunately, Patrick Edward meets up with some bullies who start torturing him.

“Monster Mama” is one children’s book that I hold dearly to my heart ever since I was child and not only did it have some really awesome illustrations and a really creative story, but the message about loving your parents for who they are is one that stayed with me for a long time.  Liz Rosenberg has done an excellent job at writing this story as I loved the main character Patrick Edward as he is shown to be a tough yet friendly little boy who dearly loves his mother, even though she is a monster.  I loved the message that Liz Rosenberg was sending out to the audience about the importance of loving your parents no matter what they look like or act like and it was great seeing Patrick Edward show so much love for his mother and I really loved the way that Monster Mama loved Patrick Edward so much.  Stephen Gammell’s illustrations are perfectly suited for this story as there are splatters of paint littered all over the pages, giving the story a chaotic feel.  I also loved the appearance of Monster Mama herself as she is always wearing a white dress, but her hair is so messy, she has sharp claws and she has sharp teeth that makes her look so menacing. 

The only problem that young children might have with this book is that the illustrations do look a bit scary.  Since Stephen Gammell’s illustrations have splatters of paint all over the pages and the characters having wild looking hair and faces, they might scare smaller children.  The appearance of Monster Mama herself might scare younger children since she does look menacing, especially whenever she is angry as her eyes glow read and her sharp teeth really shows.

Overall, “Monster Mama” is a truly brilliant story for children who love monster stories and who love reading stories about the importance of loving your parents no matter what they look like.  I would recommend this book to children’s ages five and up since the illustrations might scare smaller children.

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