Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi

Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi
Geared Towards: Ages 4-7
Published By: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: July 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0763631963

I was so excited to open up my door this morning and find an envelope from Candlewick Press waiting for me. Thank you so much to the wonderful Nicole Deming over at CP who sent me this great book for review. My oldest daughter wasn't home at the time (Because it's Fall break here, and she was off playing at a friend's house.), but my soon to be 3 year old was thrilled when she saw mommy open the package and pull out this super cute looking book. So, naturally, we had to sit right down and read it. (And sissy had her turn when she got home.)

Where's My Mummy? is the tale of Little Baby Mummy, and what happens when he wants to play one quick game of Hide-and-Shriek with his Mama Mummy before bed.

Like with many little kids I know, when Little Baby Mummy's bedtime rolls around, he wants to do anything but crawl in to bed. So, he asks his Mama Mummy if they can play one last game of Hide-and-Shriek. However, when Mama doesn't immediately come find him Baby goes to look for her. In the process he ends up getting a bit lost in the dark, spooky woods, and as he does so he stumbles upon a few odd characters who, while friendly, are not his Mama.

My girls and I really thought this was a fun book to read anytime, but especially now with Halloween just around the corner. Little Baby Mummy is portrayed just as sweet and gentle as any other little kid would be. Lost in the spooky woods he wants to maintain the upperhand, and, just like a little boy trying to be macho, he has to keep saying to himself "I'm not scared." (In my head I could totally picture a real little boy lost and walking through the dark woods, saying this to himself even though you know it's all a front because he is terrified inside.) Even when he hears lots of scary noises like clinking, clanking, glubbing, flapping, rustling, and scratching Little Baby Mummy stays calm, calling out "Mama Mummy is that you?"

The story was really cute, and my girls thought the "spooky" monsters that Little Baby Mummy encountered were pretty comical. From the mommy perspective I liked how the author and illustrator worked together to take characters who, under normal circumstances, would be considered too scary for little kids and made them fun and likeable. Bones, the skeleton that Little Baby Mummy meets first, is brushing his teeth before bed and is caught while wearing nothing but his bathrobe and dice printed boxer shorts. Glob, the swamp monster, is in the swamp washing his face with soap and water before bed. And lastly, Drac, the vampire, is washing and Q-tipping his ears while wearing his bat jammies and fuzzy slippers. Each of these characters could be really scary, but the way they've been portrayed they're more silly than anything. In other words, they perfectly fit the feel of this book without being too eerie.

Oh, and my 5 year old got a huge kick out of the one thing that finally made Little Baby Mummy scream out and call for Mama. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, so I won't say more here. Let's just say though that I think it was a very clever choice of direction for the author to take.

I think this would be a wonderful addition to any little one's library. Even though she's just a week shy of turning 3, and is therein still a year younger than the publisher recommended age for this title, my youngest had no trouble staying tuned in as I read the story. Then after we finished reading it together she decided to look through it again on her own, and each time she turned to one of the pages where Little Baby Mummy discovered the one making the noise wasn't his Mama, my daughter would say "You're not my mummy!" Just like in the story.

Last but not least, I have to give props to John Manders, the illustrator of this adorable look into a night in the life of a little mummy. Who knew, that by giving it just a few well thought out brilliant pops of color, you could make a frightening place like the dark woods or even a cemetary at night feel interesting and scary without being over the top scary? And Little Baby Mummy, as simply drawn as he was, had the most expressive face to match his attitude from page to page. You could look at him and know that he was really feeling the whimsy, curiosity, frustration, fear, and love that the author indicates in the story.

Where's My Mummy? was a lighthearted and entertaining read that is guaranteed to get lots of wear and enjoyment in this house.

OUR RATING: 5 Hearts


Heather said...

My kids and I have been doing our yearly reads of our favorite halloween books, Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi included. Thanks for reminding me about Where's My Mummy? I had meant to order it but got distracted, as is known to happen when you have three kids. I'm off to order it now.
Love your blog. I'll be back for more!

this book for free said...

That sounds like a delightful book. I'm going to see if my local library is getting it.

This Book For Free

morninglight mama said...

I was just referred to your blog as a fellow children's lit lover! And so it's pretty funny to me to read your review of this book, because I had just pulled it off the shelf at the library the other day, and my 2.5 year old and I read it together before nap just today! I guess that year and a half makes a difference for my little girl, because she was not so much a fan... my almost one year old liked how the book cover tasted, though. :)

I enjoyed the book, and as a former preschool teacher, I can wholeheartedly say that after 10 years with 4 year olds, this is right up that age group's alley! Thanks for the great review! And I'm looking forward to more reviews!