Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Mommy? Book Poster Image
Spooky pop-up isn't for the very young.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

Pop-ups of monsters that could be scary to younger kids: ferocious-looking werewolves, skeletal mummies, and more.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that author/illustrator Maurice Sendak's trademark scariness is much more overt here, with ferocious-looking werewolves and skeletal mummies. Parents will want to look through the book alone before deciding whether it's appropriate for their kids.

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What's the story?

Monsters meet their match in a smart baby looking for his mommy.

Is it any good?

Maurice Sendak's work is such a good fit with Matthew Reinhart's paper engineering that you have to wonder what took the publishing world so long to turn one of Sendak's books into a pop-up. That said, it's difficult to know what the target age for MOMMY? really is. It's too scary for little ones, and for older kids it doesn't have the content interest of other recent pop-ups from Robert Sabuda and Reinhart. Perhaps it's best thought of as an illustrated curiosity for families interested in the artistry of picture books.

There's no dialogue. The baby enters a room and asks "Mommy?" and then an overfold page shows how he conquers the monster he meets. The pop-ups are impressive, bursting out of the page but folding back easily. One of the most clever pop-ups is the mummy who's spun undone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about and spend time exploring the intensely detailed illustrations. There's a lot of hidden humor in the background. Older kids may want to talk about the book in the context of the author's other picture books. What common themes do they see (wily children, perilous and sometimes scary situations, etc.)?

Book details

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