Mama Talks Too Much

Mama Talks Too Much

by Marisabina Russo
     
 

Doing errands with Mama can be a DRAG, or so thinks Celeste, who just wants to get where she's going . . . and fast. But Mama is always stopping and talking. First it's Mrs. Green, Then Mrs. Walker, Then Mr. Chen, grownups are so BORING! But then Celeste and Mama bump into Mrs. Castro and her new puppy and Celeste discovers that slowing down has its rewards. Mothers… See more details below

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Overview

Doing errands with Mama can be a DRAG, or so thinks Celeste, who just wants to get where she's going . . . and fast. But Mama is always stopping and talking. First it's Mrs. Green, Then Mrs. Walker, Then Mr. Chen, grownups are so BORING! But then Celeste and Mama bump into Mrs. Castro and her new puppy and Celeste discovers that slowing down has its rewards. Mothers and their newly independent daughters will recognize themselves in this funny, comfortable tale, another winner from a picture-book creator with an unfailing ear for the drama inherent in a young child's ever-expanding world.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Most kids will readily relate to the scenario Russo (Hannah's Baby Sister) so warmly unfolds in this slice-of-life picture book. Celeste and her mother embark on their regular Saturday foray to the supermarket but, much to Celeste's frustration, her mother stops every few blocks to greet friends and neighbors: "They talk and talk and talk. Blah, blah, blah." The tables are turned, however, when Celeste takes time out to visit a neighbor's new puppy. In a companionable ending, Celeste and her mother get under way again, and this time it's the two of them who do all the talking. The text neatly pins down Celeste's feelings, and the artwork is equally assured. Favoring her customary streamlined style, Russo paints a lively progression of city snapshots, past brownstones with ornate grillwork and window boxes, across busy streets and by a flurry of small businesses. She carefully edits the details--the pages are full of action but not overcrowded, and what she does include (street signs, window displays, and so on) is in service to the flow of color, form and line. Children who know an adult or two endowed with Celeste's mom's gift of gab will enjoy sharing this with them. Ages 4-up. (Aug.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Simple, but colorful, cartoon-like illustrations help tell Celeste's frustration with her mother as they walk the city street on their way to the store. Although the plot is somewhat tedious, a young child will be able to recognize the Celeste's situation -- because we have all had to patiently wait for an adult at one time or another. A couple of positive aspects are the array of multicultural characters who parade through stopping to talk to mama, and the descriptions of the city through Celeste's eyes. Finally, with Celeste about to lose all patience, one friend, Mrs. Castro, is accompanied by a friendly companion who keeps Celeste occupied and happy. An average offering at best. 1999, Greenwillow Books, Ages 4 to 8, $16.00. Reviewer: Betsy Barnett
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Celeste sets off with her mother for their ritual Saturday morning walk to the supermarket. On the way, Mama stops to chat with one neighbor after another. "They talk and talk and talk. Blah, blah, blah." With each delay, the girl restlessly tugs at her Mama's pocketbook urging, "Let's go." Finally, they meet Mrs. Castro with her new puppy and, suddenly, it's Celeste who wants to linger. The setting is an idealized, multiethnic, urban neighborhood cheerfully rendered in Russo's bright, flat, gouache paintings. There's not really much of a story here it's more of a predictable litany with little tension or excitement. Compared to some of Russo's wonderful earlier books, this latest offering, though a pleasant slice of life, is just a little bland. Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Despite vibrant, detailed cityscapes, Russo (When Mama Gets Home, 1998, etc.) does such a good job portraying a young girl's boredom when her mother makes too many stops for conversation as they walk together to the supermarket that the story itself is tedious. Every stop that her mother makes turns into a gabfest that tries Celeste's patience. To bide the time, she counts cars, pieces of jewelry, and the seconds between light changes at the intersection, until she can stand no more and gives her mother's sleeve a tug: "Come on, Mama." The tables turn briefly when Celeste stops to pet a puppy, but it isn't a balanced enough counterpoint to her mother's dawdling to make any point. The flat artwork presents enjoyable urban scenes, but all the talk is smothering, in what amounts to a multicultural odyssey—first is Mrs. Green (African-American), then comes Mrs. Walker (Caucasian), then Mr. Chan (Chinese), then Mrs. Castro (possibly Latina). The book is a grand example of showing instead of telling, but the show, unfortunately, is dull. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688164119
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.47(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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