Mother’s Day Gift Suggestion: A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

This book is the perfect read for mothers and daughters. I’m buying it for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift. (I hope she’s not reading this blog.)

Told from four different perspectives, this is a charming generational tale that is ultimately deeply moving and powerful. Young Mary O’Hara’s granny is in the hospital. Just when Mary and her mother are sure they can’t handle the grim situation anymore, a mysterious woman appears, full of friendliness, comfort, and what seems to be very specific knowledge about Granny. Gradually, Mary, her mother, and her grandmother realize that the woman isn’t a stranger at all: she’s Tansey, Granny’s mother who died years and years ago.

In one night, the three women and the girl revisit their family’s past and embrace their present. Together they visit the old farm where it all began, and, along the way, their individual stories are told.

I couldn’t put this lovely story down. If the above synopsis sounds vaguely like a road trip story you’ve read before, think again. Roddy Doyle’s little novel is a sweet, gentle story that never goes over the top with melodrama. It’s truthful without being harsh, nostalgic without being sappy, and humorous without trying too hard. And it’s just the right length. It’s been a long time since I’ve said that about a book, and it feels good! It’s easily read in an afternoon, and it still has the perfect emotional impact. Well done, Mr. Doyle!

I love this book. I think my mom will, too.

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle; Amulet Books (Abrams); 16.95; Ages 9+

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Celebrate Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th. Here are some books to help you celebrate!

The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting

Its Mother’s Day at the Mouse house, and Little, Middle and Big mice must gather their gifts before Mother mouse wakes up! Together, the trio brave the perils of the forest and collect special gifts for their mother. Eve Bunting and Jan Brett collaborate to form this sweet story with charming illustrations!

The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting; Claron Books; Ages 3-6; 5.95

T.Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug by Louis G. Grambling

T. Rex wants to do something special for his mama on Mother’s Day, but what? Mama Rex insists that all she wants is a nice, big, dinosaur hug. Will T. Rex listen?  This cute book is a perfect one to read with your little dinosaur!

T.Rex and the Mother’s Day Hug by Louis G. Grambling; Katherine Tegen Books; Ages 3-6; $6.99

Some other titles to consider…

Mommies are for Counting Stars

Mother’s Day Ribbons

Fancy Nancy’s Marvelous Mother’s Day Brunch

Happy Mother’s Day, Mami

Clifford’s Happy Mother’s Day

Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants

My Mom Is Trying to Ruin my Life…. and other perfect mother’s day books

The perfect Mother’s Day book does not have to have “Mother’s Day” in the title. There are wonderful children’s books about mothers that can double as fantastic Mother’s Day gifts.

My Mom is Trying to Ruin my Life, written by Kate Feiffer and illustrated by Diane Goode, is an accurate portrayal of mothers everywhere: the mom in the title kisses her daughter goodbye, brings her a change of clothes during school, and talks way too loudly. To the little girl in this book, however, these are all ways that her mom is completely ruining her life!  Life would be so much better for her if her mom went to jail.  But then she’d be alone, and when she wanted dinner, no one would be there to cook it, and when she wanted a bedtime story, no one would be there to read it, and when the monsters and bad dreams came, no one would be there to hug her and scare them away. Maybe it’s not such a good idea; maybe her mom isn’t trying to ruin her life after all.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague, is a great book for your own dinosaur lover who might be an angry T-rex at times. Though he stomps and throws fits, kicks your seat in the car, and wakes up in a bad mood, he’ll still smile sweetly, and give a kiss and a hug before bed, because that’s how a dinosaur says I love you. Be sure to read and look for the different dinosaur names on each page.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney, is a story moms have heard a million times with their own kids.  Llama Llama goes to the Shop-o-rama with Mama, but it just turns into llama drama. Llama Llama doesn’t want to be at Shop-O-Rama, Llama Llama wants to be at home playing with his blocks and toys. Can Mama calm Llama Llama down and turn around this llama drama? Of course, because Llama Llama loves his mama.

And if you’re looking for a classic book about mothers, the Caldecott award winner, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey, is a beautiful classic for Mother’s Day.

Happy Reading and Happy Mother’s Day!

Megan’s Pick of the Day 4/10/09

Mommy, Where Are You? by Leonid Gore, Ages 2-5

9781416955054Ozzy wakes up one morning and can’t find his mommy anywhere! He races off on a frantic search. Is she behind the fence? In the flowers? Up in the tree? Swimming in the lake? No, no, no! Ozzy works himself into a wild tizzy only to discover Mommy in the most obvious of places.

Leonid Gore’s story is simple, punctuated by Ozzy’s refrain of  “there you are!” as he repeatedly mistakes various woodland plants and animals for Mommy. The unique illustrations are sure to draw young adventurers into the story, using broad, colorful brushstrokes and liftable flaps to create a lush setting for the little mouse family. This is an excellent “snuggle-time” story for mommies and little ones to enjoy together!

Mommy, Where Are You? by Leonid Gore, $16.99, Ginee Seo Books, pub. March 2009

Enjoy a good book today!

–Megan