Mama Zooms

Mama Zooms

by Jane Cowen-Fletcher

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A boy's wonderful mama takes him zooming everywhere with her, because her wheelchair is a zooming machine.  See more details below


A boy's wonderful mama takes him zooming everywhere with her, because her wheelchair is a zooming machine.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When a toddler sits on his mother's lap, he pictures himself transformed into a jockey racing across green lawns, a ship captain negotiating stormy seas, a smooth race car driver, a pilot whipped by wind in an open airplane, a train engineer peering down a dark tunnel. But this is no ordinary lap of pretend, because Mama has a ``zooming machine''--a wheelchair that transports mother and child to work and play and, best of all, far away realms of the imagination. Cowen-Fletcher's full-page pastel and pencil illustrations, frequently enhanced by the use of close-ups, depict within crisp outlines an energetic boy in changing costumes and appropriate positions on his mother's knees. A sense of motion that provokes joy makes it easy for little ones to join in the zooming from morning to bedtime, when ``Mama is just my mama, and that's how I like her best.'' With mother and son obviously relishing their every moment together, youngsters will warm to this unusual and commendable book--an unaffected portrait of a physically challenged individual. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
The author based Mama Zooms on the life of her sister, "a wheelchair mom (and a practicing veterinarian)." "Every morning," the first page begins, "Daddy puts me in Mama's lap and we're off!" Readers see a string of exciting adventures where toddler and mom indulge themselves in creative play until "Mama zooms me right up until bedtime. Then Mama is just my mama, and that's how I like her best." There is nothing about disability in this book, just pure fun and a mom who escapes stereotyping. In a recent interview with the author, she told me she why she wrote this book for such a young audience. "Kids get sensitized at a very young age, " Fletcher said, "because parents tell them not to stare at the handicap. So they stop looking altogether and people become invisible. Since my sister's accident, I really make an effort when I see anybody who has a disability to look them in the eyes like anyone else instead of thinking it's not polite to look at them."
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-- It's natural for a young boy to think his mother is omnipotent. Add to that the fact that she's wheelchair mobile and the pair have some wonderful adventures. On his mother's lap, the narrator imagines himself a jockey, a sea captain, a racing-car driver, a pilot, a train engineer, and an astronaut. Anchoring these exploits and tying them to reality is his father, who puts the child on his mother's lap in the morning and pushes her up the ``very steepest hills.'' Rather than being a fully fleshed-out story, the poetic text describes the action in the full-page drawings done in pastel and colored pencils. ``Mama zooms me through a puddle and she's my ship at sea. Mama zooms me across a bridge and she's my airplane.'' The pictures feature an attractive woman, her costumed son, and her manually operated vehicle. Some are closeups, while others show an entire scene. Children will tune in to the fantasy and enjoy the speed and energy captured in the artwork. The large type and simple sentence structure are appropriate for beginning readers. Best of all, this understated book presents a positive image of a physically challenged individual. --Nancy Seiner, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Stephanie Zvirin
Here's a cheerful portrait of a mother-son relationship with a difference. The text on the first page declares that Mama has something called a "zooming machine." The illustrations depict more and more of the machine, which, of course, turns out to be a wheelchair. Pastel shades predominate in the full-page, color-pencil artwork, which pictures the mother with her son, dressed in various costumes, on her lap. The mother's maneuvering through puddles, across the boardwalk, and elsewhere inspires all sorts of fantasies for her son: when she zooms across the lawn, she becomes his race horse; when she zooms over a bumpy road, she becomes his buckboard. The story is "very" upbeat, though Cowen-Fletcher does show a less sunny side of things in a spread depicting the boy and his dad pushing Mama up a hill. That helps temper the book's sweetness without disturbing the story's wonderful, warm glow. The pictures are large and clear enough to make the book good for group sharing.

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

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