Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mom's Day: My Mom Is Trying to RUIN MY LIFE by Kate Feiffer

This is my mom. Sure, she looks like a nice mom.

Here are five ways that my mom is trying to ruin my life:

Way #1: She kisses me in front of my friends. She doesn't just kiss the top of my head. That would be bad, but not as bad. My mom gives me kisses all over my face.

Way #2: She stops by my school in the middle of the day, barges into my classroom, and says, "I thought Emmy might be hot and would like to change into these shorts." Like I would ever change my clothes at school! I don't think so.

Way #3: She talks too loudly.

Way #4: She never lets me eat any food that I think would be good for me.

Way #5: She worries about everything and never lets me do anything fun because I might get hurt, which I won't.

I have decided it's time to stop my mother before she ruins the rest of my life!

Emmy fantasizes about how she will escape from her mom and dad (who is also trying to ruin her life, but in different ways), imagining speeding away on her bike, chased by her concerned mom in the car until her mom is put in jail, followed by her dad when he comes to bail out his wife.

For a moment Emmy basks in the thought of being in total control. But then she starts thinking about the consequences--parents in jail, a dark house with no dinner for hungry daughters, no bedtime stories, and no one to come to her rescue if she has a bad dream because she went to bed hungry. Hmmph!

"My parents are both in jail. My life will be ruined!"

Kate Feiffer's My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life (Simon & Schuster, 2009) is a funny take on the first skirmishes in the mother-daughter wars, with a main character with a strong voice and a far-fetched imagination about her own emancipation. Caldecott-winning artist Diane Goode's appealing illustrations extend the story perfectly, especially in picturing Emmy's fantasy flight from her doting parents' control. A very nice story about a "nice" mother for the upcoming Mother's Day season.

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