Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed In My Meadow and In My Flower from Chronicle Books. This week, as a follow-up to last Thursday’s book launch party, we’re reviewing Key Porter Books’ The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery by Erica Ehm and Rebecca Eckler. I have to thank Kelly at Key Porter Books (and of course Erica) for my review copy.
Mom is invited to a fancy party at the Art Gallery and decides to take as her special guests, her two children Josh and Jessie. Surrounded by paintings that looked like scribbles and sculptures that looked like donuts, the kids quickly become bored. ‘We could do this in our sleep,’ Josh whispers to his sister Jessie.
Then across the room they notice a door with the sign: ‘Do Not Enter: V.I.P Only’
That’s when the fun begins. But it’s not Josh and Jessie who instigate the mischievous behaviour, but rather their mother. Before they can stop her, she’s across the room and through the V.I.P. door. The two kids follow their mom. In the room they are surrounded by colourful paints and crayons, beads and feathers. Josh and Jessie know what their mom is thinking and try to stop her. I mean, they’re just regular people and shouldn’t even be in the special V.I.P. room; they don’t belong.
‘Of course we’re V.I.P.s! You’re the most Very Important People in my life. Plus, it’s an adventure!’ was their mom’s response. Then she proceeded to cover a large piece of paper with colour paint. Encouraged by their mom’s enthusiasm and fun, Josh and Jessie join in.
I think as adults we become so grounded in following the rules and patterns that we forget to be mischievous. And kids learn from us. If we’re constantly telling our kids to not take chances and try new things, their inherent mischievous and free-spirited behaviour will disappear. Having the roles reversed in The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery allow us to laugh at our behaviour. Having mom, an authority figure questioning authority shows kids that it’s okay. Plus I think kids just love seeing adults do things that aren’t very adult.
Now this book isn’t advocating that you shouldn’t follow rules but rather that some ‘rules’ can be broken or bent. It also shows that you shouldn’t assume you can’t do something and taking chances can sometimes lead to great rewards. After reading The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery to my own three kids, we talked about taking chances, bending rules and not making assumptions. Although this book is aimed at kids, I think parents will benefit from the free-spirited message too. We’re our kids’ best example. If you want your kids to take chances and not be afraid, you have to do that too. It’s hard, but I’m trying.
You can add a copy of The Mischievous Mom at the Art Gallery to your personal collection by visiting your local bookstore or visit Key Porter Books for more information. For other great kid book recommendation visit the past Write a Review Wednesday post.