My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life by Kate Feiffer, illustrated by Diane Goode.
Sure, Mom seems nice and sweet but she is definitely trying to ruin her daughter’s life! She has five ways that her mother ruins her life: she kisses her in front of her friends, she brings changes of clothes into school in the middle of the day, she talks too loudly, she restricts certain foods, and she worries too much that her daughter might get hurt. Tragic, isn’t it? But the little girl has a plan that results in her mother going to jail for trying to ruin her daughter’s life. She would try to call her husband, but the little girl also knows that her father is trying to ruin her life, so in her plan they both are put in jail. All seems perfect, until the girl realizes that that would leave her all alone and scared. So maybe it’s not the best plan after all.
This sassy book has a sense of humor that keeps it from becoming bratty. The litany of wrong-doings of both the father and mother are humorous and even children will see right through them. Children will also enjoy spotting the holes in her plan before she realizes them herself. Her plan is painted with such broad humor that it could only be a daydream, a passing whim. Because all children feel this way about their parents at some time, they will relate effortlessly to the feelings on the page. Goode’s illustrations nicely use the white space on the page. They offer breezy lines done in watercolors that appear effortless and tie into the humor of the text well.
A great ironic choice for Mother’s Day that will cut through books that can become a little too sweet when read all together, this book is appropriate for ages 5-7.