Wang, cocreator of the Cozy Classics series, fashions scenes from the life of a mother and her two children, the needle-felted figures staged and photographed in scale model sets. A child narrator praises his mother’s many roles. As a professional carpenter, the sandy-haired mother “builds things big and strong.” But at home, she’s a data-collecting scientist (she marks the boy’s changing height on the wall). She’s also sometimes “a zookeeper who handles beastly crews,” including the family’s rambunctious pets and the mess-making siblings. Wang captures a remarkable sense of motion, expression, and realism in his scenes. This little family feels so authentic, readers may forget that its is made from wool. Also available: Great Job, Dad! Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
PRAISE FOR Great Job, Mom!:
“Reading these books, which succeed in making a complex process look simple and natural, one can only tell the author, 'Great job, Mr. Wang'.” Imaginary Elevators
“[A] top-notch choice for both libraries and families. Highly recommended for library and personal purchase.” Highly Recommended, Resource Links
"This little family feels so authentic, readers may forget that it's is made from wool." Publishers Weekly
"The artwork in this tongue-in-cheek look at the many roles moms play in family life is certain to have readers poring over the pages." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“These beautiful books provide the chance to appreciate and talk about careers, caring and family." Calgary Herald
“Each photo is a masterpiece in and of itself. . . . Highly recommended for their masterful art and messages of appreciation and gratitude.” School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–Mom works as a carpenter, but that is far from all she does! As a mom, she often works as a general, a curator, an archaeologist, a scientist, a Secret Service agent, a journalist, a zookeeper, a doctor, an actor, and a DJ. One job she does for her career, the others she does out of love. Dad is a manager by day, and a waiter, chauffeur, inspector, judge, computer engineer, librarian, pilot, architect, receptionist, and astronomer at other times. He does one job to pay the bills and the others out of love. These stunning similar, but stand alone, picture books set themselves apart from the crowd. The illustrations were created using an intricate process: First, the characters are carefully sculpted in wool and manipulated to show lifelike movement. Then, the figures are strategically placed in a movie-set-like with a scaled backdrop. Photography is then used to capture the magic. Each photo is a masterpiece in and of itself and will invite careful inspection. The championing of the efforts and loving dedication by the mom and dad depicted will make this especially appreciated by working parents who often wear a variety of hats. VERDICT Highly recommended for their masterful art and messages of appreciation and gratitude. Great choices to share at storytimes or as one-on-one reads for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any day.–Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
We all know the work that goes into parenting. This book and its companion celebrate and name all the unpaid jobs moms and dads do at home after their regular 9-to-5 jobs are over.
"My mom works as a carpenter. / She builds things big and strong. // At night, though, she's a general / who'll march the troops along. // She's also part-time curator / with passion for the arts. // And frequent archaeologist / in search of buried parts." Wang's scenes will be familiar to fans of his Cozy Classics board books, done with his brother Jack Wang; crafted of needle-felted characters and found or made props and then photographed, they are genius, making clear the many parental duties: enforcing bedtime, changing out the fridge art, and combing through the laundry. Companion title Great, Job, Dad! publishes simultaneously and follows a similar format. His day job is "manager"; at home, his duties include "waiter," "chauffeur," "inspector" (of diapers), and "judge" (between siblings). Both titles show both traditional gender roles and otherwise, and they end similarly: "Dad does one job to pay the bills, / the others out of love." Mom! features a white family with an older brother and younger sister; Dad! spotlights an Asian family with an older sister and younger brother. The photography and needle felting are not to be missed. The backmatter provides detail on the artist's process, complete with photographs; this is sure to capture readers' imaginations.
The artwork in this tongue-in-cheek look at the many roles moms—and dads, in the separate title—play in family life is certain to have readers poring over the pages. (Picture book. 3-8)