cover image Mothers Cant Get Sick

Mothers Cant Get Sick

Crown, Sylvie Kantorovitz Wickstrom. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-517-57181-1

Even when Mama Jones begins sneezing and feeling shivery she doesn't go to bed; she has too much to prepare for three-year-old Ben's birthday celebration with the family that night. Grampastet Jones takes Ben for a hike, hoping Mama Jones will be able to rest; instead she works on a book of poems she is writing. By the time Papa Jones comes home, Mama's in bad shape; while she sleeps, the children pitch in and bake the cake themselves. The table is put near her bed, and the family celebrates Ben's birthday with joy and tender concern for Mama's condition. This mother is just a little too martyred, especially when she won't give up and go to bed. The clumsy line about her working on a book of poetry also seems gratuitous, as if to show that she is not ``just'' a mother at home. Genuine warmth creeps into this book, and despite its clumsiness, it serves a pleasant function. Ages 3-7. (July)