Monday, May 5, 2008

Big Mama's Baby by Lacy Borgo, illustrated by Nancy Cote

The cover was the best part of this book. The story has a well-used plot - the beloved pet animal who gets too big for his owner. In this case, a stereotypical older woman (seriously, would any woman be called "Big Mama" anymore?) raises a calf and then, giving the reader serious doubts about her ability to support and run her farm, refuses to sell him, even though he is destroying her garden and causing trouble. Eventually a happy solution is reached.

The illustrations don't live up to the cover. The faces are oddly proportioned and the art seems rough and amateurish. The art shows what apparently is meant to be a contemporary small town with a diverse cast and modern clothing, but the elderly woman running her own small farm, and pet calf, and the name "Big Mama" seem to come out of another era.

Verdict: A sweet idea and a lovely cover, but it just didn't work. Not recommended.

ISBN: 978-1590781876; Published August 2007 by Boyds Mills; Borrowed from the library

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