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Monster Mama

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  270 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Philomel Books. NY. 1993. First edition, first printing (full number line). "First Impression" stated. No markings or names inside or out. Pictorial boards-match dj. Navy blue endpapers. Book-fine. Original, unclipped dj ($14.95). Dj has very light edgewear, else fine. Dj-VG+. In archival protector. To Patrick Edward, his mother is the best mother in the world, even if she ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 24th 1993 by Philomel (first published 1993)
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Nov 02, 2014 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
Odd and interesting picture book about a small boy whose mother appears to be a monster. How or why this is the case (is she a mutant? something supernatural? is it a metaphor?) is not addressed, nor do we know how the community feels about this semi-reclusive* monster in their midst other than that "her bad moods terrified the neighborhood." What is important is that her son loves her, and she loves and protects (in a non-stifling, independence-encouraging way) him. And that you should not stea ...more
Imagine that your mother was actually a terrifying monster that scares anyone who comes across her, but you still love your mother anyway because, she is your mother! That is what happens in this story called “Monster Mama” which was written by Liz Rosenberg along with illustrations by Stephen Gammell and children everywhere will definitely enjoy reading this book about loving your parents for who they are.

Patrick Edward was a young boy who was extremely wonderful, but his mother is a monster an
Greta is Erikasbuddy
May 06, 2012 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The older little one
Recommended to Greta is Erikasbuddy by: Ronyell
A beautiful children's book about a little boy who has a special kind of mama.

A Monster Mama!!

Monster Mama is indeed that... A monster! She lives in a cave at the back of the house and teaches her little boy how to do magic and roar.

But Patrick Edward isn't a monster. He just has a one as his Mama.

One day Mama tells Patrick Edward to go pick up some desert from the market. On the way he gets bullied by three mean kids. Monster Mama hears this from her cave and runs down there to make things righ

Love this book and think it is a children's classic. I agree it's too scary for a 2 year old but my 5 year old adores it and she's very sensitive to scary stuff. I DO think it's hilarious and warm and cozy and all those things the back cover claims. It's a crime this book is out of print. I've never found anything quite like it to tell about the love between parents and children. Yes, you can read it as a parable for mothers who are different for any number of reasons-- being single, or handicap
Samantha Penrose
Nov 11, 2008 Samantha Penrose rated it liked it
Awesome illustrations!
Touching and Strange.
There are no notes in the book, but when I began reading it I immediately wondered if it had been written by someone who has been affected in some way by a bipolar disorder, manic depression, or some other up down and all around mental illness.
I don't think that the reviews on the back cover are very accurate. Words like "hilarious", "cozy", and "tender" (from three different blurbs) don't really seem to fit in my eyes.....words that come to my mind ar
Jun 25, 2007 Mischa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will never stop reading or buying childrens books. Now that I have a Niece I have an "excuse", but it really just means I have to buy TWO :-) This book has amazing illustrations and the proclamation "Death to all Tyrants!"... really... couldn't be better!
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Patrick Edward's mother has bad moods, unpredictable behavior, and lives at the back of the house in a cave...she is a "monster mama". But even with her bad moods, she has the sweetest touch, great advice, and she loves Patrick Edward very much. One day, Patrick Edward goes into town to buy supplies for a sweet dessert but he is stopped by three horrible bullies. Will his mother's advice help him? Can his monster mama protect him?

This book has a great message and can be used to simply tell a sto
Jul 14, 2016 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a strange story about a little boy with a monster mama. She literally is a monster in this tale, although perhaps it could stand as a metaphor for a woman with a disfigurement, a terrible disease, a phobia, mental illness or even an addiction that keeps her homebound.

The two obviously care greatly for one another and defend each other from taunts and bullies. The story is pretty good, but I wasn't a big fan of the illustrations. We enjoyed reading this story together and I had fun prete
Dec 17, 2007 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like kids books and people who don't.
This is one of the best picture books that I have ever read. Ever. It's one of the few picture books that honestly addresses what it's like to have a parent who isn't perfect. And maybe way less than perfect. I've given it to adults and read it with kids, and everyone likes it. I appreciate picture books with a bit of reality -- even if it's fantastical reality. The art is dark and messy and lovely.
Feb 21, 2009 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, anyone
Glorious illustrations. Warm story of maternal love and what a wonderful support that is for a child and how it colors the child's interactions in the world. Kids love the surprising twists in this story as much as the adult who reads it to them.
Jul 16, 2007 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents of young children
This was one of my favorite books to read to my son. It tells the story of a mother who is not perfect, but loves her child.
Apr 26, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The art is unique and the story is captivating. Great quotable dialogue from the protagonist.
Feb 08, 2010 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
One of my favorite illustrators. Beautiful, colorful, wild book about a mother and son's love.
Oct 28, 2009 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GREAT illustrations and an all-time family favorite
Jan 10, 2009 Neda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
best book of all time.
making connections
Apr 02, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I just came across this book the other day at work, and I'm surprised I had never seen it before. It's interesting to see the different interpretations of it.

It seems the most common take on it is the love of a parent for their child, and vice versa, even when the parent is not perfect. Some even see this as even possibly alluding to a parent with mental illness, which certainly did not occur to me at first.

I saw the portrayal of the mother as a humorous way of showing (1) how kids often see par
Even though she's a real monster, Patrick Edward loves his mom -- especially when she uses her powers to tame a trio of young bullies -- in this exuberantly illustrated picture book about the universal love between a mother and child."One person's monster is another's mom.

(Gammell's) illustrations crackle with childlike energy". -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Has humor, suspense, and just a hint of magic to beguile readers". -- School Library journal
This is not your average Hallmark feel good children's book. That's exactly why I like it so much. The illustrations, while gorgeous, are a little uncomfortable. A loving mother who prefers to stay hidden at the back of the house than converse with other parents? Sounds like my kind of parenting style. My kids were drawn to this book and we read it over and over again.
Darian Schwerdtfeger
This is an interesting book that I think is missing small details about the mother being a monster, but I love how protective of her son she is. He loves his mother no matter how scary she is to other people.
Carolyn Pullman
Feb 29, 2016 Carolyn Pullman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Great story. My kids are grown up but I can still almost recite it by memory. Gorgeous illustrations.
May 08, 2014 Meribeth rated it really liked it
Perfect for Mother's Day, especially second graders. Illustrations match the story's slightly creepy tone.
Sep 05, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Glorious! One of my favorite picture books.
Jan Arrick
Feb 20, 2015 Jan Arrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When my granddaughter was just a little girl, she loved Monster Momma. We would read it over and over. When she moved to Virginia I recorded it and sent it to her so she could not only hear my voice, but the beloved story. Now she is grown and looking forward to teaching young children. I'm sure this will be one of the books in her own "library". It is a wonderful story about a young boy, his love for his mother, and how she shows bullies it's not always what you see on the outside that counts.. ...more
Debbie DeKoeyer
Apr 26, 2016 Debbie DeKoeyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great illustrations.
Feb 08, 2007 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidstuff
Unusual allegory for a kid’s picture book: a child’s relationship with an “impaired” parent. In this case an actual monster mama who doesn’t like to leave the cave in the back of the house. The boy in the story looks small for his age, but he’s independent, resourceful and resilient. Fun and fierce. A picture book w/ bright colors, drips and splatters. Not for very young or easily frightened kids. Could generate some interesting questions. My 4yo nephew requested this book over and over on his l ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Vsw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
This book is about a boy whose mom is a monster in the best possible sense. She's disheveled and interesting and passionately loves and protects her son.

I picked the book up when the cover caught my eye. All of the illustrations in the book are vivid watercolors with splashes and slashes of paint that fit the mood of the story. I also love that this book is quirky and doesn't have a hint of predictable "then his mother talked to the boys and they all became friends" to it.
Apr 25, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you couldn't tell, I'm big on illustrations in books. If I don't like the pictures I could careless what the story is about. I guess I'm kind of like a little kid in that aspect. This book has beautiful pictures, carrying from page to page; of a little boy and his monster mother. Let's just say she taught him well, becuase when she sent him how for strawberries for dessert a group of bullies learned to never pick on him again.
Malika J.
This book is so wonderful. The boy loves and supports his mother, even though she is a monster. This book could be really helpful for children with family issues to remind them that even though some bad stuff might happen, their parents still love them. The illustrations in the book are really beautiful and can be used to illustrate some different art techniques.
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Liz Rosenberg is an American poet, novelist, children's book author, and book reviewer. She is currently a professor of English at Binghamton University.
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