Mother Monster's Born This Way



So during lunch, I went to the local record store and bought the 2 CD limited edition set for Lady Gaga's Born This Way. I also got the 12" vinyl single for "Born This Way." (The collector in me has to tell you that it is 1 of 5000.) I hope to go back and buy the first two albums on vinyl as well, but given that I would like to eat sometime before Wednesday, I thought it best to hold off.

But in honor of Mother Monster's big day, I'd like to present to you one of my favorite children's books, Monster Mama:

Patrick Edward's mother is a monster--literally. An impish-faced woman experiencing a decidedly bad hair day and needing a manicure, "Monster Mama" lives in a cave behind the family house. In addition to her roaring and spell-casting skills, this unique parent bakes cookies, drives Patrick Edward to school in bad weather and nurses him with "the sweetest touch in the world" when he is feeling poorly. But when three bullies ruffle Patrick Edward's feathers with a crack about Mama, the boy gets his chance to prove he's his mother's son--roar and all. Rosenberg creates a light mood with her matter-of-fact description of strange circumstances. Any thrill here is derived from curiosity rather than gruesomeness, and youngsters will find comfort in the oddly tender mother-child relationship that permeates the story. Gammell's trademark electric palette and airy, spattered paint technique make for illustrations that crackle with childlike energy. Except for a couple of portraits, many of the scenes are abstract, with some indiscernible shapes and obscured faces. The effect, however, is not distracting, and gives the text a sense of universality.

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