Bear Snores On ) points out, "All the little birdies cry/ when Mama says"/>

MAMA ALWAYS COMES HOME

Karma Wilson, Author , illus. by Brooke Dyer. HarperCollins $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-057505-2

Human children don't have a monopoly on wanting their mothers to stay. As Wilson (Bear Snores On ) points out, "All the little birdies cry/ when Mama says she has to fly." But the examples reassure readers that mamas leave for good reasons, and it's never forever. Mama Bird needs to fetch worms, Mama Dog "goes to see her boy" and human Mama needs to run an errand or go to work. Whether babies wait in a nest, a barn or a suburban house, "Mama always comes home." Unfortunately, while the title promise (which also serves as the rhyming text's refrain) is unabashedly heart-tugging, the book itself is not. Dyer's (Lullaby Moons and a Silver Spoon ) watercolors resemble the flat yet overworked quality of greeting card illustrations; she mostly regards her subjects from the same perspective and distance, and seems to favor physical detail over emotional depth. Wilson's text feels uncharacteristically blunted and unsupported, and an idea that should have been a home run strikes out within the first few pages. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/21/2005
Release date: 00/00/0000
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