I rarely review picture books anymore – after all, my owns sons are both teens now – but I just couldn’t resist taking a look at M.O.M: Mom Operating Manual. It was written by picture book superstar Doreen Cronin, author of such fun classics as Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, with illustrations by Laura Cornell, who has illustrated many #1 New York Times bestsellers. The combination is a book that appeals as much to parents as to kids!
Right from the first pages, you know this book will be a winner:
Introduction:It is widely accepted that mothers are the most advanced human models on the planet. They are capable of superhuman energy, strength, patience, and creativity.They come in many shapes and sizes.They have various talents and skills, like cooking, singing, sewing, Olympic athleticism, and neurosurgery.Years of research, observation, and time-outs have given science some very important guidance on the necessary maintenance and care of mothers for optimal performance. If you handle them correctly, tend to their basic needs (which are minimal), and refer to the care manual with regularity, your mom should be operating at peak performance for years to come.
Of course, this tongue-in-cheek text is accompanied by Cornell’s fabulous illustrations. That last paragraph is illustrated with a mom picture ala Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, complete with multiple limbs, various multi-tasking accompaniments, and kids hanging on. I really enjoyed this book, even though my kids are way beyond the picture book age. The text is incredibly clever and funny, and every time I pick it up, I catch new little details in the illustrations that I missed the first time.
I was looking for some sample illustrations I could share with you, but instead I found a video that I think is even better. This will give you an idea of the tone and quality of the book:
This book is sure to be a hit, with both kids and overworked moms in need of some good laughs! It would make a great gift.
P.S. After perusing the illustrations, I am afraid I probably alternate between the Pleasant Yet Fried Around the Edges Mom and the Barely Upright But Still Functioning Mom!