“A story as charming and cozy as a loving mother herself.”
In a celebration of mothers, this story beautifully captures their mammoth efforts and subsequent exhaustion in an upbeat and utterly sweet way. Opening immediately with the story’s premise “Mommy’s too tired to be Mommy tonight. / Can you be Mommy and hold me tight?” the (suggestively single) mother playfully entreats her young daughter to swap her roles for the evening, flipping back and forth between listing the things she has already accomplished today (working at the computer store, shepherding children to extracurriculars, providing dinner and cleaning up) and the one thing yet to be accomplished—the bedtime routine. While not all the rhymes are perfect or super original, the flow of the text doesn’t distract from the book’s tone or sweetness. The featured mom is soft and cozy—perfect for mom hugs—and not idealistically slender, and her facial expressions throughout are utterly relatable, reminding readers that mothers have their own emotions as well as boundless love. The pink-hued color palette is both cozy and hip (much like the mom herself), and and the foliage (both potted and creeping in onto the pages unexplainably) adds to the sense of simultaneous idealism and realism the story represents.
One of life’s great ironies is that children fight sleep while their parents ache for it. Karla Clark’s playful picture book touches on this utterly relatable theme with humor and heart, providing a story mothers and children will delight in reading together at bedtime.
Mommy’s too tired to be Mommy tonight. Can you be Mommy and hold me tight?
Read me a story and pat my tummy? Wipe my nose when it gets runny? Check for monsters under the bed? Sing me a song and rub my head? She worked all day at the computer store. Came home to a big mess on the floor! Helped with homework—even MATH! Fed the dog and gave him a bath.
Rhyming text makes for a great read-aloud as reader and listener wind down for bedtime. Parents and kids will both enjoy this wonderful story.
The Mommy in this story is so exhausted from doing all of her Mommy jobs. What are some of the things that your Mommy does for you that could make her tired? What can you do for your mom to help her out?
If you were going to be the Mommy at your house, what would be your favorite thing to do? Your least favorite thing to do?
Karla Clark is the author of six self-published books—three novels, a book of short stories, and two children’s picture books. She has made over one hundred visits to local women’s book clubs to promote her work and is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Rockford Arts Council, and the Chicago Writers’ Association. Karla lives in Rockford, Illinois, with her husband and adult autistic son. When she’s not writing, Karla creates decoupage paper collages that she sells at art shows.
Zoe Persico is an author and illustrator for picture books and a freelance designer for animation. From adventurous road trips, a night in playing games, or watching storms roll by, she finds inspiration in everyday joys. You can find her work at Zoepersico.com.
For my beautiful boys—Scott, Jordan, and Jonathan
To Papa—why is your granddaughter so beautiful? Because my Papa was so handsome.