Mother’s Day has always been a hard day for me for various reasons (a bit too noir to go into for those of you where this is a happier time), but anyway, I thought it was apt to do a special edition of Weekly Readings, celebrating motherhood in the world of fantastical fauna.
Usually, we give a round of reviews for picture books, and while we mostly specialize in animal stories, humans get their down every now and again.
Since most of us are busy with special breakfasts in bed, lunches or dinners out, or you may even be celebrating being a mother for the first time (post-labor) so we’ll focus on two of my favorite books, one about finding your mother, and another about a mother cheering her on her kid’s uniqueness-
Lyle Finds His Mother
by Bernard Waber
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 26, 1978
As T.A.A. loyalists know, I’m mad (in a GOOD way) about Lyle the Crocodile, and in honor of the first anniversary of his creator, Bernard Waber’s death (T.A.A. paid tribute during Picture Book Month 2013), I wanted to highlight this in, which as the title suggests, our friendly neighborhood crocodile goes on a search to find his birth mother. I don’t spoil how this journey plays out, but I will say this-
I don’t read a lot of books that are specifically about mothers. In particular, about the mother-son relationships, as that hits a sore spot for this lit. rat, even now as I’m no longer a rattling who hadn’t yet found his love of books.
But this is a story I can read without that weight lodged in my heart, and if you have a similar hole in your heart regarding lack of maternal closeness with your mother, this can be the first step to making some sense of peace with it. It certainly did for me.
(An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Pub. Date: January 7th, 2014
NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: This is re-post of our original review for Henny, that while not “Mother’s Day”
themed, does include a mother who celebrates her “Little Clucker’s” uniqueness!
In the spirit of Dumbo and the works of Todd Parr, along comes Henny, a chicken born with unusually long arms and hand-like wings! A great “Okay to be Different” story without getting hokey about it. While I often lament the minimalist movement in picture books these days, this book makes great use of minimalism in both words and illustrations.
Zeroing in on our heroine and how she makes the most of her unique physique features! The picture book answer to R.J. Palacio’s middle grade novel “Wonder” with a fantastical fauna twist! Elizabeth Rose Stanton: This is a debut to be proud of.
Happy Mother’s Day to one and all! Don’t forget, tomorrow’s Children’s Book Week, and T.A.A. will be doing some fun stuff both here, across social media, and on our YouTube/Vimeo channel! Until then, may the fantastical fauna be with you!