We're going to take a break from our regularly scheduled contemporary adult literature book reviews to stop and ponder a new picture book. Today's book is M.O.M.* (Mom Operating Manual) by Doreen Cronin. I have really enjoyed Cronin's previous books such as CLICK, CLACK, MOO and DUCK FOR PRESIDENT. And astute readers will recognize the work of illustrator Laura Cornell who has worked on such books as Jamie Lee Curtis' TODAY I FEEL SILLY & OTHER MOODS THAT MAKE MY DAY.
This clever book is essentially an owner's manual for children. The book takes the reader through the evolution and history of moms including the different types and how to care for them. The brief chapters include A Brief Historical Overview, Daily Care and Maintenance, Grooming, Outdoor Use and Troubleshooting. The book is fairly long for a picture book at 54 pages and much of the humor will go over the heads of children. It is definitely a book for older readers of elementary school age and higher. However, adults will probably get the most enjoyment from the book. I see it as a wonderful gift for a new mom, a frazzled mom who needs a humorous reminder of why we do what we do or as a Mother's Day gift.
I particularly enjoyed the safety alert notes sprinkled throughout the book. My favorite? In the section for "Outdoor Use, " there is a safety alert that reads "Your mother may warm up during periods of extreme use. Under heavy loads with extended carry times, your mother may be warm to the touch. This is normal." And under the troubleshooting section, the book recommends doing a little Cranky Pants dance to override any Mom malfuctions but it cautions that fathers may perform the Cranky Pants dance only at considerable risk.
The book may be too far above the heads of most children but I think it would probably be a pretty entertaining book for adults and children to read together. And Moms everywhere will definitely get a bunch of laughs out of it!