My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life

Kate Feiffer, Author, Diane Goode, Illustrator , illus. by Diane Goode. S&S/Wiseman $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-4100-2

What if Mom and Dad were finally jailed for their crimes against their school-age daughter’s humanity (e.g., talking too loudly and enforcing a regular bedtime)? How perfect would that be? The sweetness of our narrator’s vision fades, however, when she realizes there would be no one around to love her and take care of her. Feiffer and Goode (previously paired for President Pennybaker ) give this old chestnut of a story line an urbane sheen. The author understands that children like to assume a voice of objective authority by referring to themselves in the third-person plural (“[My mom] makes people’s boo-boos stop hurting”). And while it seems a bit anachronistic that Goode dresses Mom in a pink shirtwaist worthy of Father Knows Best , her watercolor vignettes are gems of wry intelligence and comic understatement. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/01/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
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