My Mother Is Mine

Marion Dane Bauer, Author, Peter Elwell, Illustrator Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $13 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-82267-4
Bauer (If You Were Born a Kitten) and Elwell (Three Brave Women) explore the depths, delights and ferocity of the mother-child bond and for the most part, their foray into unabashed emotion works well. Bauer's rhymed text brings to mind the poignant vulnerability of a mash note from a young child: ""My mother is pretty./ My mother is brave./ My mother still loves me when I misbehave."" But because the sentences are parceled out one per page, the effect is never cloying. Elwell's stunning, diaphanous pastel illustrations flirt with the conventions of calendar art: his characterizations are mostly grounded in a realistic appreciation of the natural world, but the gauzy surfaces and the intensity of the animals' expressions are the stuff of pure romanticism. A tiger mother beams with pride as she carries her pliant cub by the scruff of the neck; a vigilant mother horned owl is regarded with utter adoration by her little puffball baby. Unfortunately, the final sequence, showing a girl creating a greeting card for her mother, lacks the intensity of the animal illustrations; the child's expressions seem a bit clich d. An actual card bearing the same illustration as that on the girl's is included inside the back cover. Ages 1-5. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
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