Big Momma Makes the World
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Big Momma Makes the World

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"Among the many creation retellings and variations, this one takes the cake." — THE HORN BOOK (starred review)

When Big Momma makes the world, she doesn’t mess around. With a baby on her hip and laundry piling up, she demands light and dark, earth and sky, creepers and crawlers, and lots of folks to trade stories with on the front porch. And when the work is done, Big Momma...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published November 4th 2002)
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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
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(showing 1-30 of 209)
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Amanda
Summary:
This is a different version of the creation story that includes a big woman that is very strong minded. The Big Momma starts off by making the world with water. Her determination keeps her going through the creation of water, light, dark, sky, sun, moon, earth, trees, whales, birds, fish, creepers/crawlers (animals), and people. She was very proud of herself and said “That’s good. That’s real good.” After her work was finished she still kept an eye on everyone and told them to straighten...more
mlb
A clever twist on the biblical creation story that ends in the "big bang". The world is created by a mother who is seen in every illustration with her young baby on her hip. The story paints an image of a strong and powerful mother figure who gets things done. Big Mama is practical and matter of fact. Her language is familiar and accessible. The story is told in a way that is not preachy--it is comforting and at time humorous. The illustrations by Helen Oxenbury are beautiful and soothing, celeb...more
Taylor
I couldn't resist this book when I saw it at Powell's. It's the traditional creation story from Genesis, except that Big Momma makes the world and it isn't easy with that Little Baby sittin' on her hip. But she's Big Momma, so no problem.

This book reads like soul food tastes, like blue grass sounds, and like a warm summer night smells. Not only is is fun to read (quietly or aloud), it gives another perspective on creation concepts. I don't think I can have too many different creation stories on...more
Erin
With her little baby in tow, Big Momma makes the ocean, light and dark, the sky, the sun, the moon and stars, the earth, plants, animals, and finally she makes people so she has someone to “swap stories” with on the porch. Big Momma creates the world in six days and on the seventh day she rests. At the end of each day she remarks, “That’s good. That’s real good.” This is a unique creation story about a strong-minded, no-nonsense, “Big Momma” who takes great pride in her work and makes sure to te...more
Kimberly
Big Momma makes the world starts out with Big Momma floating around in water with a “baby sitting on her hip.” She creates the sky, sun, moon, stars, earth, plants, animals and people in six days and rests on the seventh. When looking at her work at the end of each day she says “That’s good. That’s real good.” She created people so she could sit on the front porch and “swap stories.” At the end of the sixth day she tells them to take care of the world. She sometimes looks down to tell the people...more
Brendan Howard
This was a real delight and led to a much-needed discussion about god. Z was under the impression God was male. Nope. God is neither male nor female. What is god then? God's not real. I told her it's A-OK to believe that, but it's nice to pray to God or sing about god sometimes if you don't believe.
Meg
I love, love, love this book. Big Momma is a down-home God/dess who creates the world with a baby on her hip, and when she's done with each part, she looks at it and says "That's good... That's real good." The use of language is the most brilliant aspect of the story, vividly bringing Big Momma to life as an earthy character with plenty of sass and spice. Also, the story is told with plenty of repetition but also plenty of creativity and humor.

The story definitely mixes up different cosmologies...more
Carm
I really like the language in this creation story and the illustrations by Helen Oxenbury are wonderful. It feels very warm and happy and full of life and love.

"When Big Momma made the world, she didn't mess around.

There was water, water everywhere, and Big Mommma saw what needed to be done all right.

So she rolled up her sleeves and went to it. Wasn't easy, either, with that little baby sitting on her hip.

Didn't stop Big Momma, though.
Not for a minute."

The pictures are full of surprises in the...more
Dotty
Listen. This book has a voice. I can hear it. Can I replicate it when I read it aloud? Not sure. It's not my native voice.
The story of the inspiration for the book, a family car trip with kids creating stories about what they saw and why it looked that way, reminds me of our family car trips full of singing.
The illustrations remind me of the book, "The Nativity" illustrated by Julie Vivas - one of my all time favorite children's books.
Juneau Public Library

This picture book, written by Phyllis Root and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, tells the story of the world as created by Big Momma, a no-nonsense character who keeps an eye on the world from above, occasionally saying, "Better straighten up down there!" but just as often, she looks down and says, "That's good. That's real good."

Recommended by mj

K
Okay, it's a bit old for my two year old. Throughout the book she just labeled the mama as me and the baby as herself and talked about the mama making milk. (Making the world, making milk - same thing, right?) But the writing style hits a home run, the plot runs strong after basing itself off of a more familiar creation story, and the illustrations hold their own. We'll be coming back to this in six months.
Kathy
Big Momma Makes The World is a "myth" on creation. Big Momma is the main character who represents God. The story is a light-hearted take on the creation theory. To be quite honest I would not use this book in my classroom. However an activity I would use is a rountable discussion of the story. A second activity would include having the students write a myth about the evolution theory.
Kelly
One of my favorite picture books of all time, and I am PICKY about picture books! This is a creation myth beautifully told with gorgeous illustrations. I loved this book even before I had my daughter, and after reading it to her I realized that she tended to lose interest in the earlier illustrations that are very monochromatic. But after that, she was enthralled!
Natalie
Nov 10, 2008 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: earth mamas
Recommended to Natalie by: Kate
Shelves: kiddie-esoteric
Oh wow, a book that offers an alternative to the patriarchal telling of creation. I like it just for that. The fact that humans were created just for company for storytelling and porch sittin is just icing on the cake. Oh, and there's even a Big Bang!

Love what the illustrator says on the back flap about, creating a combination buddah/housewife. Spot on.
Ellyn Getts
Although this story isn't Christian, I think it is good to present different ideas and perspectives of the creation story. This particular book does not present any particular religious view; it actually combines some. In this way many students' family beliefs will be reflected in the pages. It could also be a study on culture.
Robyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan
Dec 12, 2011 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: "New Beginnings" Library Sparks Januray 2012
A story of the seven days of creation, told as if the Creator was a matriarch with a baby on her hip. Momma's dialect ("Sun, you take care of theis day business for me") and Helen Oxenbury's always charming illustrations combine for an imaginative alternative to the creation story. As Momma says, "That's good...that's real good."
Nux
All in all I guess it qualifies as a good children's story book. Very nice pictures, interesting story of creation that I thought could be a nice story to tell my children one day. It fails, however, to catch my attention. It is nice and sweet, but not captivating. Yeah, nice one for girls, I suppose.
Betsy
A charmingly illustrated version of the Creation story in which God is personified as a woman with a baby on the hip. Kudos for the "voice" in the story and for keeping the order of events the same. Still, I'm not sure I can get around God being a woman with a baby on the hip...
Patricia
Emma was right. This story begs to be read aloud in a southern accent. It's so charming! The illustrations are beautiful. It's one I recommend highly (and thank Dayna for recommending it to me) and would give as a gift to a young child.
Holyn
Big Momma is part Buddha and part housewife. She creates the world with a baby on her hip and laundry in the wash. Oxenbury's illustrations are, as usual, exquisite. I love having a different creation story to read to my little one.
gaia.
I think this is a wonderful spin on the creation story for children & everyone! It is a lovely story with beautiful pictures. It is one of my two year old son's favorite books & we read it together almost daily!
Amy
This is a beautiful book. My son won't yet sit still long enough for me to read all the text, but he oohs and awws at the lovely illustrations. The prose looks like a delightful read.
Emily
LP and I both enjoyed this story about the Creation, with Big Momma creating the world while juggling dishes, work, and raising her own baby. Cute story and great illustrations...
Paula
Beautifully illustrated creation book about big momma and how she created the world. Similarities to the bible. Also in 6 days and the 7th day of rest.
Grace
One of my favorite childrens books :) I've read it to all 4 and they all loved it. The art is beautiful and the story is nice, not to long for littles.
P is for Polly
All of us moms who read the creation story to our kids, picture it like this in our heads anyways :) Every mom would love a copy of this book.
Sam Grace
This is Genesis where God is embodied in Big Momma. Read this while visiting my nephew and now must have for my own. This is full of yay.
Danica Midlil
Creation tale where Big Momma is part Buddha and part housewife. Loved it.
Shelli
Good folk tale type feel that I could imagine sharing over a camp fire.
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33886
"Picture books are performances," says Phyllis Root, quoting some sage advice she once received. "They're performances that involve a child--something both of you do. And once I started thinking of them that way, I started getting much looser about making up words and playing around with rhythm."

Phyllis Root picked up an early affinity for colloquial language while growing up in Indiana and south...more
More about Phyllis Root...
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