My Mama

Annemarie van Haeringen, trans. from the Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke. Gecko, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-776572-67-0
A playful young elephant wearing star-covered trousers reflects on his beloved mother in this meandering tribute. “I’ve known my mama for a long time. For my whole life, actually,” the text begins; the narrator goes on to offer a child’s-eye view of all the ways he spends time with her. They play cars (“I like that, as long as she tidies them up afterwards”), “water” plants (the small elephant pees into his), and sometimes clash (“My mama is never angry with me... But when she is, she’s really ANGRY!”). Set mostly against simple white backgrounds, van Haeringen’s spare drawings have a retro quality, emphasized by Mama’s colorful caftan and long red necklace. The elephant child’s earnest, oblivious commentary has a sweet humor that may play more to adults than to kids—“I’m always the one in charge,” he declares—but van Haeringen’s scenes make it clear: Mama is the architect of this elephant’s world. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 03/25/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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