A two-level story through the eyes of the baby elephant, who has
a very wise and good mother.

Julia Marshall, Publisher

My Mama

$19.99$29.99

A cheeky baby elephant describes his mother while we follow another story in the illustrations—familiar and funny for both parents and children.

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  • Description

    I’ve known my mama for such a long time. For my whole life, actually.
    My mama loves playing with me and my cars. I like that, as long as mama tidies up the cars afterwards.
    I’m good at hiding. No one can find me, not even my mama … and then suddenly I shout, “PEEKABOO!” My mama’s scared to death! I laugh and laugh.
    At night, my mama shakes the stars off my pants. I give her a big hug and say. “Goodnight stars, see you tomorrow!”

    A cheeky elephant tells all about his mother in this lovingly drawn story. Both parents and children will delight in and recognize this gorgeous mother–child relationship—if not for the same reasons.


  • Book Details

    Country of OriginNetherlands
    Reader Age2-5 year
    Book Size
    ISBN

  • Reviews

    1. ReadPlus

      Highly recommended. Children will laugh loudly at the little elephant thinking her is helping Mama when it is really the other way around. Their life together is full of love, companionship and laughs, although now and again she has to tell him at length about what he has done wrong…the story reflects a universal mother son relationship, and the wonderful sparse illustrations magnify the already large pair of animals. Reflecting the striving of all children to be allowed more freedom, the story pokes gentle fun at the child who thinks he is ready to leave home and fly, when really he does what he does because Mama is there right by his side.

    2. The Children’s Book Council of Australia Reading Time

      This is an amusing tale of a baby elephant’s everyday adventures with his long-suffering mother. Written with half an eye as to what mothers endure when entertaining their children, the story conveys children’s imaginations – and their certainty that they control the world most of the time. There is little text per page and the illustrations are fun, capturing both mother’s and baby’s personalities.

    3. Books for Keeps

      The book is bound to generate lots of discussion between reader and listener as they share the story and talk about the relationship between the elephants, and about all their various activities. There are intriguing details to find in the bold pictures, including spotting the starry end papers.

    4. NZ Poetry Box, Paula Green

      My Mama is a big gorgeous hardback picture book with big gorgeous illustrations … [it] is a heartwarming read – the illustrations are divine – perfect when you need a feel-good book.

    5. The Horn Book

      This playful offering explores, through two elephant characters, the strong emotional bond between parent and child.

    6. Outside in World

      A simple story of a mother/child relationship with gorgeous expressive pen and ink and watercolour illustrations that complement the chatty humour of the narrator.

    7. Red Reading Hub

      Gently humorous and super sweet, but never sentimental, this is perfect for sharing with little humans.

    8. Picture Books Blogger

      A gently unfurling story of the bond between mother and child, My Mama by Annemarie van Haeringen, has a sensitively written narrative which will resonate with parents everywhere.

    9. The English Association

      A delightful celebration of the relationship between a mother and child. The book features sensitive illustrations of a baby elephant and his Mama in familiar situations, such as playing cars and shopping. The text is spoken by the naughty baby boy elephant. I particularly enjoyed the pages where there is a deliberate discrepancy between the text and the illustration which raises a smile. Mama’s patterned dress is a delight. Children will like the page where the young elephant “waters” a plant by peeing into it. A book to enjoy and share.

    10. Just Imagine

      This story is a joy to read. It brings a smile to your face as you follow the antics of the young elephant. So often, the mother-child relationship is shown in books through the eyes of the adult, but in this case, each page feels like the child has written it. This is a real credit to the author and also to the translator Bill Nagelkerke. The illustrations pop out against the white background, and though they are minimal in style, they portray the story well…There’s no doubt this book would become a firm favourite if placed in a class library

    11. armadillo

      A delicate, simple and very touching story of the love between a mother and a child that will resonate with all its readers as children follow the pictures and adults follow the words

    12. Kirkus Reviews

      Readers will enjoy the perspective of the calf, but even more, they’ll like to be in on jokes the earnest narrator misses: The child likes “watering the plants” (a little urination joke) but notices that “when I do, it always starts to rain”—Mama stands behind with a watering can.

    13. Stephanie Tournas, Youth Services Book Review

      A little elephant describes all the ways that his mama takes care of him, from playing to watering plants to explaining why she is angry with him. The interactions are sweet and realistic, despite the characters being elephants, until the end, when the mama shakes the stars off the baby’s pants as she’s putting him to bed. The stars then revolve around his head in the night sky. Even though the title is My Mama, it’s clear that the story is about the little one and his relationship with his mom. The gentle humor, such as when the baby is watering plants with his pee, and his mother is watering his head, will tickle young kids who recognize their own loving parents. Sweet minimalist illustrations focus on the mother and child.

    14. School Library Journal

      A young, highly anthropomorphized male elephant narrates this picture book about his special relationship with his mama. The duo takes center stage via the illustrations with their bright clothing against an opaque cream background. The little elephant is shirtless and wears pants with bright orange stars all over them and his mama is resplendent in a long, flowing dress with a colorful flower print and a red beaded necklace. The little one tells us how the pair like to do things together such as play cars and do the shopping. Although sometimes his mama gets mad at him, and it takes forever for her lectures to end. Children will be greatly amused at one scene where he “waters” the plants by peeing on them. At bedtime, Mama shakes those orange stars off his pants which float in the air above his bed.

    15. Publishers Weekly

      A playful young elephant wearing star-covered trousers reflects on his beloved mother in this meandering tribute. “I’ve known my mama for a long time. For my whole life, actually,” the text begins; the narrator goes on to offer a child’s-eye view of all the ways he spends time with her. They play cars (“I like that, as long as she tidies them up afterwards”), “water” plants (the small elephant pees into his), and sometimes clash (“My mama is never angry with me… But when she is, she’s really ANGRY!”). Set mostly against simple white backgrounds, van Haeringen’s spare drawings have a retro quality, emphasized by Mama’s colorful caftan and long red necklace. The elephant child’s earnest, oblivious commentary has a sweet humor that may play more to adults than to kids—“I’m always the one in charge,” he declares—but van Haeringen’s scenes make it clear: Mama is the architect of this elephant’s world. Ages 2–5.


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