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When Mama Comes Home Tonight
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When Mama Comes Home Tonight

5.0 4
by Eileen Spinelli, Jane Dyer (Illustrator)

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When Mama Comes Home Tonight will be a special book for parents and children to enjoy together. Eileen Spinelli's charming rhymes and Jane Dyer's heartwarming illustrations celebrate the nighttime rituals shared between a mother and a child, spinning simple pleasures into magical moments families will cherish. Any parent who comes home to a child will know


When Mama Comes Home Tonight will be a special book for parents and children to enjoy together. Eileen Spinelli's charming rhymes and Jane Dyer's heartwarming illustrations celebrate the nighttime rituals shared between a mother and a child, spinning simple pleasures into magical moments families will cherish. Any parent who comes home to a child will know this book's the one.

Editorial Reviews

A bestselling Spinelli title arrives in board books! The Jane Dyer pictures are fetching; the story really sweet.
Publishers Weekly
Mother returns from her job to spend an evening of play and bath time with a sleepy toddler. "The book works marvelously as a soporific, and will reassure anxiously waiting children as well as the parents who dash home to put them to bed," said PW. Ages 1-5. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Another song worth singing, Eric Carle's Today Is Monday, begins with string beans on Monday and spaghetti on Tuesday. Different animals eat their way through the week, teaching the names of the days as they go. Music and lyrics included. ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kristin Harris
This is the ultimate book for the child whose mother works away from home. A very sweet verse details all of the wonderful things Mother will do when she comes home. Not only will she hug you and kiss you, she will dance in the halls, feed you soup and applesauce, and wrap you in her shawl. The rhythm of the lyrics makes it a perfect bedtime book. The illustrations are also gentle and calming watercolor/color pencil drawings of a mother and child winding down at the end of the day. A book that kids and caregivers will read over and over again.
School Library Journal
PreS-Mama comes home from work to her loving child ready for the night's routine of dinner and play, cleaning and mending, bath, book, and bed. It's an ideal environment: no stress, no crying, with mother and child in perfect harmony. While this idyllic scene might strike adults as unrealistic, for children, the ultimate response will be positive. The rhyming text is nicely paced, soothing without being humdrum or coy. The thrice repeated refrain, "When Mama comes home from work, dear child,/when Mama comes home tonight," sets the upbeat tone while establishing a tidy framework for the tale. The paintings appear either as full-page spreads where intricate patterns abound, or as circular vignettes that are focused on one aspect of the story. Created with colored pencils and watercolors, the illustrations are lovely and youngsters will fall into their soft dreamy glow. The child's rosy cheeks and red curly hair are a mirror of Mama's. There is a sweetness to this book, an inner strength that defies reality. It could become a necessary oasis in an otherwise hectic, domestic schedule, making reading it to a child before bedtime pure pleasure.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Kirkus Reviews
The few precious hours between an outside-the-home working mother's arrival at her child's side and that child's bedtime are viewed through an idealized lens; the effectþeither loving or hopelessly sentimentalizedþwill depend on the outlook of adults who open this book for lap-sharing. The rhythmic text meant to soothe seems forced and stilted; the repeated use of the phrase "dear child" distances the words unnecessarily. Muted pastel illustrations conjure an era from the past: The mother's old- fashioned rosiness, hairstyle, and dress are WWII or earlier, reminding readers that "working" mothers are not a novelty. As mother and child share both boisterous and quiet activities, culminating in peaceful slumber, the well-tended house and the gentle admonishment to put the blocks away are elements that may reflect how mothers would like to envision their day, rather than what really transpires. (Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 10.62(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
1 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Jane Dyer is the illustrator of many books for children, including When Mama Comes Home Tonight and Sophie’s Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli, and the New York Times bestselling Cookies series by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book years ago and loved reading it to my kids every night after coming home from work. The kids still love having it read to them although now we can read it together. It is a great book to bring the working mom and her children together to read, expressing how their time together, once home, is so precious and endearing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My sister-in-law gave this to my then 5 month old daugter right after my husband and I split up. I cried the first time I read it. My daughter is now a year old and it is her ABSOLUTE favorite thing. I have to hide it from her to keep from reading it 20 times a day, every day (and I am not exaggerating). We count the cars and she kisses the baby when he goes to sleep at the end. I know it so well that I can recite it from memory and when she is cranky in the car, I tell it to her and it calms her right down. It is the very best gift we've ever been given!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We have read this book for a couple of years now. I have given it to almost every working mom who has a baby and I also give it to the babysitter! When you are at your wits end with juggling children and work, just read this with your kids and you will forget all about the dirty dishes in the sink and the laundry pile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many of the ideas match what moms do or would like to do with their young daughters when they get home from a long day at work. Illustrations put this in a somewhat old fashioned setting, but there is something to relate to for anyone who spends even a few quality moments with their sweet girl. Only drawback is by following ONE parent and daughter, it's very Caucasian in it's illustrations.