Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Read, Read, Read said the Baby: My mom is the best circus by Luciana Navarro Powell

This review was previously published. I have rewritten and edited it.

Two children of indeterminate genders narrate their mom's circus acts throughout the day, from magic to acrobatics. The pictures are cute, although they feel a little static to me. The mom's purple suit and the kids' colorful pajamas are good focal points.

You really can't separate the pictures and text in this book, as the book only "works" when you see the circus acts the mom is performing. For example, when the child says "Mom can tame wild beasts without blinking her eyes." The illustration shows the mom wrestling a mass of laundry into the washer.

Verdict: It's a nice idea, and it's interesting to see what appears to be a working mother, but like many good ideas, it doesn't translate well to a board book. The kids appear to be preschool age at least and it looks like they are left home alone while the mom goes to work - no caregiver is shown. Toddlers or even preschoolers won't have much context for the circus theme and many of the "acts" are too subtle for them to make the connection. For the parental audience, I have a feeling that both my working and stay at home moms would kill me if I put this in the collection - a book about an always perky, can-do-anything, never tired, immaculately dressed, single working mom who balances her home life and work life with apparently effortless ease is just going to annoy people.

ISBN: 9780307931436; Published 2013 by Robin Corey Books/Random House; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to library prize box

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