Monster's Reviews > Mommy?

Mommy? by Maurice Sendak
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's review
Jun 21, 2010

bookshelves: scary-books-for-kids

A fantastic pop-up book, Mommy? shows a little boy in pajamas crawling through a haunted mansion, running into classic monsters including Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman, and the Mummy while searching for his mother. Each monster tries to look ferocious to the little boy as the child makes the single worded inquiry "Mommy?", only to have the boy move on completely fearlessly, leaving the monster baffled. The art is absolutely fantastic and the pop-ups are fun and innovative. It is of note that the flaps secured on the left side of each two page spread are pullouts which need to be opened to move the story along- the spinning mummy is a particularly entertaining and elaborate example. Sendak's drawings will remind fans of earlier works like In the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things Are, and of operatic and theatrical sets he has designed. In fact, the scenario on which the book is based was a theatrical performance called "It's Alive!" by Arthur Yorinks. Reinhart, already well known as co-creator of the Encyclopedia Prehistorica, clearly worked closely with Sendak to create this weird and wacky gem. A consideration for libraries is that although it is sturdy, Mommy? is an elaborate pop-up picture book, and it is easy to imagine it getting torn or destroyed with frequent use. Some children may find the illustrations frightening, but most will be enthralled. Recommended for supervised use with children at home, Mommy? is a monstrously entertaining visual and kinesthetic treat.

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