Mother’s Day is next Sunday, so this week at Kids’ Book Capers we’re looking at books that would make great Mother’s or Grandmother’s Day presents.
Today’s featured picture book is Why I love my mum, written by Alison Reynold and illustrated by Serena Geddes.
Alison has generously agreed to share her experiences of the woman who inspired this book – her Mum. The author has also shared this gorgeous picture of herself at kindergarten.
My mum was born in Box Hill Hospital, centuries ago she tells me. Her father was a headmaster so she lived all over Victoria growing up.
She was always fascinated by rocks, so Mum studied Geology at Melbourne Uni during WW2. She claims that we’re lucky to have her because she thinks she was approached by Edward Leonski, the US soldier and murderer. Mum was living in college and all female students were instructed not to go out after nightfall. My impatient mum decided she needed to go to the library and on the way a US soldier emerged from the shadows and offered her a cigarette. Mum ran away, but she was terrified. It may well have been him as all the soldiers had been instructed not to approach lady students and curfews were in place.
When Mum married she had to resign as government departments wouldn’t employ married women, but she started teaching once I began kinder. She had the teacher voice down pat at home.
Mum is very practical. An ant trail? Mum nuked the area with DDT. Have a flood in the laundry? Mum cut a hole in the floor to drain out the water. Find out what sex a kitten is? Mum dangled a needle over the kitten’s head. She was infallible until we received a phone call that Timmy had just had five kittens.
Mum always says how she doesn’t know how I can make things up. I don’t understand how, even now, with dementia she is still a whizz at arithmetic. Mum always believed woman deserved the same rights as men. Her great-grandmother was caught in the Eureka Stockade, and harboured miners in her tent and rescued Peter Lalor by rolling him down a hill. I can imagine Mum doing this, but she probably would have amputated Peter Lalor’s arm herself as she’s always considered herself to be a bit of a doctor and then told him that he should be home with his wife.
I inherited my love of the water from Mum. My dad was the strictly minding the clothes type while Mum would be jumping among the waves. When the water splashed on her perm, she soon looked like a poodle with her tight curls. .
Mum has been a wonderful grandmother to my children, and even now her memory is fast fading she always remembers them. Recently, she told me that as long as I remember you, the two kids and the tubby, short bloke (my husband is slim and tall, but that’s Mum being funny), it doesn’t matter what else I forget. And I’ll never forget my mum.
WHY I LOVE MY MUM
Why I love my mum is a heartwarming picture book that looks at what makes a mum special.
The mum in this book is good at mowing lawns, but cutting hair is not her talent. She can’t bake a cake but she can build a cubby house.
There are so many fun things this mum can do that it really doesn’t matter about the things she can’t. What I enjoyed most about Why I love my mum is that it showed mum’s are human. Just like kids, they are not perfect – there are the things they are good at and the things they aren’t.
None of that really matters because what’s really important is that mums are individual and special and that they love their children and are loved in return.
Serena Geddes beautiful illustrations clearly express the fun of Why I love my mum and the unconditional love that flows between mother and child.
Readers can personalise their book by slipping a picture of their own mum inside the front cover. They can also personalise the pages at the end and attach their favourite photo or drawing for mum.
Why I love my mum is published by The Five Mile Press.