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Mommy Go Away!
     

Mommy Go Away!

by Lynne Jonell, Petra Mathers (Illustrator), Petra Mathers (Illustrator)
 
Mommy says, "Pick up your blocks."
Mommy says, "No more T.V."
Mommy says, "Time for your bath."
Christopher says, "Go away, Mommy! Go away on this boat."

Suddenly Mommy shrinks until she is smaller than the bath toys. Riding a tippy boat over perilous waves, she has a new and scary view of the world. Luckily Christopher is there to take

Overview

Mommy says, "Pick up your blocks."
Mommy says, "No more T.V."
Mommy says, "Time for your bath."
Christopher says, "Go away, Mommy! Go away on this boat."

Suddenly Mommy shrinks until she is smaller than the bath toys. Riding a tippy boat over perilous waves, she has a new and scary view of the world. Luckily Christopher is there to take care of her, because he know what it is like to be small.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this swiftly moving tale, told and illustrated from a child's perspective, a boy turns the tables. "Go away, Mommy!" says young Christopher, after being ordered around one time too many. He then gets Mommy back by magically shrinking her until she fits on a toy boat and launches her into a sea of bath water to join other tiny mommies who need a lesson about how tough it is to be small. Jonell's debut picture book may be laugh-out-loud funny for children angry with a parent, but an underlying tone of mean-spiritedness lurks: Christopher cheerfully uses words he's so often heard as he sends Mommy away in a tippy boat with big waves, "Have a good time! Remember your manners! Don't forget to brush your teeth! And no hitting the other mommies!" Mathers (Kisses from Rosa) evokes the way children draw (whether children respond to pictures they could likely draw themselves is another question) in neatly squared-off crayon illustrations, one to every page: the characters have triangles for bodies, stick legs and enormous oval heads with pointy noses. She, too, joins in with visual gibes, whether depicting Christopher's glee at his one-upmanship or the expanse of bath water that confronts Mommy as she floats away. Although author and artist convincingly convey an everyday frustration of childhood (being told to do something unpleasant), they present the situation as an opportunity for revenge rather than one that invites discussion between parent and child. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
PreS--Christopher must always do as his mother requests, as she is much bigger than he. But when she insists he take a bath, he tells her to "go away" on his small toy boat. When she points out that she is too big to get in the boat, he sees this as an opportunity to take control and wills her to "be small." The bathtub becomes a choppy sea, and the woman expresses her fears about being so small and helpless in the boat, but her son is there tubside to help and urge her on. When she demands to be made big again, the youngster assents, satisfied that she can now empathize and understand that it isn't easy being small. Childlike stick figures, the inconsistent sizing of parent and child, and the simplistic text are all effective in helping readers see the world through young eyes. The illustrations are an interesting mix of pastels and deep colors, and have rich, appealing textures. This story will draw a smile from independent preschoolers who hope the adults in their lives can remember what it means to be small.--Lucy Rafael, The Center for Early Education, West Hollywood, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Jonell turns the tables on parental authority and childlike obedience in a terrific story of a boy and his mother.

"Pick up your blocks," "No more T.V.," and "Time for your bath" are the phrases that set off a small boy's protests. Christopher declares, "Go away, Mommy!" and offers his toy boat for her to ride in. She protests that she's too large, and so, "Be small," he commands. She obligingly shrinks and is set afloat in the tub, where she expresses a list of fears about what's happening to her. Several other mothers appear in a small motorboat on the bathwater horizon, and Christopher admonishes her to have a good time, remember her manners, and don't hit the others. He endearingly reassures her that he will help her; the mother, once restored to size, sighs that it is hard to be small. "I know that already," Christopher replies. Mathers uses the simplest of illustration styles: The people are almost stick figures—but their postures are wonderfully expressive—and the scenes, intentionally naive yet showing intelligent composition, resemble children's crayon scrawls, done with flat perspectives. A highly original book that will strike a chord in every child's experience, and one that parents will enjoy immensely.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399230011
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/28/1997
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.38(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

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