Friday, November 21, 2008

While Mama had a Quick Little Chat - Book Review

While Mama had a Quick Little Chat
Author: Amy Reichert
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (May 17, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0689851707
ISBN-13: 978-0689851704

“While Mama has a quick chat with Uncle Fred, Rose is supposed to be getting ready for bed.” Yeah right. All children know how quick these “quick little chats” can be when they try to get Mama’s attention. Rose’s Mama gave her detailed instructions what to do while she was on the phone.

“Brush your teeth. Wash your face. It’s getting late! I want you in bed by half past eight.”

Rose thought “No problem,” but then the door bell rings and four muscley men appear with a load of party supplies. To no avail Rose calls and calls out to her Mama but she keeps saying she will be through soon, so Rose lets them in.

More people begin to arrive and Rose tries to slam the door but people keep coming with waiters and trays of hors d’oeuvres. Rose can not stop this big party no matter how hard she tries so she decides to join in the fun. Something odd happens when a magician appears.

“Mama!!!” shrieked Rose “Come right now and see!”
“Rose, dear,” said Mama. “Stop Pestering Me!!!”

Finally the band arrives and they need a drummer so Rose steps in and begins to play a boogie beat. When Mama warns she is ready to get off the phone Rose makes sure everyone leaves and take their mess with them. Everyone left and thanked Rose for a fun time. Mama finds Rose fast asleep in her bed and none the wiser as to the big bash that had just happened in her living room.

The story is told in rhyme with an upbeat and steady rhythm and characterizes the impatience children often exhibit while waiting for attention from the parents. I think children will appreciate the humor because they will be able to relate to Rose. On the flip side parents will relate to Mama when she becomes irritable as Rose shrieks and begs for attention.

Mama and Rose both have skinny legs and pointy toes with red hair going everywhere. The cartoon type illustrations add a lot sparkle and life to the story. The addition of Rose’s cat in the illustrations adds a bit of amusement as a spectator to the party. This is a splendid book to share with everyone.

About the author: Amy Reichert has a home phone, a cell phone, a speakerphone, a headset phone, and call waiting. She can cook, clean, work in the garden, check e-mail, help with homework, brush her cats, eat, read, exercise, drive, watch TV, feed her fish, and write a book -- all while having a quick little chat! She lives with her husband and two children in Bethesda, Maryland.

About the Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger is the illustrator of While Mama Had A Quick Little Chat by Amy Reichert and Roxie and the Hooligans by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, as well as Doris Orgel's Doctor All-Knowing, coming in 2008. She lives in San Anselmo, California.

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