THERE'S A HOUSE INSIDE MY MOMMY

Giles Andreae, Author, Vanessa Cabban, Illustrator
Giles Andreae, Author, Vanessa Cabban, Illustrator , illus. by Vanessa Cabban. Albert Whitman $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-7853-7
Reviewed on: 08/26/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
Hardcover - 25 pages - 978-1-84121-313-2
Paperback - 25 pages - 978-1-84121-068-1
Hardcover - 26 pages - 978-1-4083-1588-0
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A preschooler reasons that his pregnant mother's growing body contains an actual domicile for his sibling-to-be: "My daddy says I lived there too/ When I was being made/ But I don't remember very much/ About it, I'm afraid." Andreae and Cabban (previously paired for Love Is a Handful of Honey) opt for a tone of maximum reassurance—the boy expresses no anxieties about being displaced and gets plenty of unharried attention and snuggling from both placid-looking parents. But Cabban's warm-toned watercolor cartoons still have a bit of realism: Mommy is seen grazing at the refrigerator and conked out on the sofa, and, as he and Mommy take a bubble bath together, the boy runs a toy car over her belly. Andreae's rhymes about "Mommy's tummy house" veer between soothing and precious. (Reporting that sometimes Mommy "feels so sick," the boy concludes, "If I had a house in me,/ I'd feel all yucky, too.") While some readers will likely find the tone and cadences condescending, very young children looking forward to the birth of a sibling will probably enjoy seeing their enthusiasm reflected here. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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