Five Star Review

That Mama is a Grouch

Author: Sherry Eillis

All too often kids do things to irritate their moms. Most of the time they do not even realize that some of their actions are annoying, irritating and might cause harm to someone else. “That Mama is a Grouch,” written by Sherry Ellis in rhyming form, helps the reader whether young or old understand why parents get upset and handing out tons of time outs.

Mothers are people too. They are even allowed to get upset and blow off steam. But, when the little girl in this book decides to leave all of her 52 toys strewn all over the entire house, that was the last straw and yes, “Mama turned into a real GROUCH!” Poor Mama tripped and fell and landed on the couch. The expression on her mother’s face was priceless. You could almost hear her footsteps as she stormed up the stairs telling her to clean up her mess. But, for some reason she could not understand why she got so angry since all she wanted to do was have some fun. The one thing no one wants is a parent who is always cranky and complains all the time. Who wants a GROUCH for a mother? Our main character will learn some important lessons so that her grouchy mom turns into an even- tempered person with a big smile on her face.

Receiving a stern warning our main character decides to amuse herself in the kitchen and what she does and the concoctions she creates are hysterical and can only be appreciated by reading the book and seeing the outstanding illustrations drawn by Don Berry that brings the story to light.

Our clever young lady is still not done and what she does when the baby naps is typical of any child who does not think that noise travels causing her mom to blow a fuse one more time.

Parents need to listen to their children and understand that they will make mistakes and just want to be noticed. Younger siblings take up much of a mother’s time and the older one gets lost in the shuffle and gets reprimanded when things get out of control even though they are really just being a kid. So, I think I will let our main character tell you the rest:

“ I know that I left my toys all over the place. That is because I would not have to look for them when I wanted to play with any of them. I did not realize that my mom would fall and almost get hurt. When the baby went to sleep I took out some other toys to play with in the basement and who would have thought that the noise would travel up to the baby’s room. Then, I explained to my mom how I felt and guess what, she did not yell, she listened.”

As moms go I think the one in this story is really smart and handled the situation the same way that Nanny 911 would. She explained to her what she expected of her and created a list of do’s and don’ts that are easy to follow. I am sure that she might have even made a chart and kept it posted in the kitchen or on the wall of her room as a reminder of what she was supposed to do and not do. If you are waiting for me to tell you what these rules are, you will be waiting a long time. You have to read this book for yourself to find out the wonderful parenting skills that every mother needs to learn.

The little girl promises to try and tells the reader what will happen if she breaks a rule. Does Mama remain a Grouch? Read the book and you decided for yourself. Remember: Kids are people too and will make mistakes and author Sherry Ellis in this outstanding book teaches both parents and children how to handle situations in a calm and understanding way without yelling and hitting.

This book is great for teachers when they want to explain to their youngsters why it is necessary to clean up the toys in their classrooms. It is great for safety prevention at home and in school to teach children what might happen if someone does fall on a toy and why someone might get really hurt.

The illustrations are priceless and they help the reader understand the frustrations of the mother and the daughter. The facial expressions are priceless and the ending will make you smile. Every parent might want to create a list of do’s and don’ts to post on their kitchen bulletin board and add a list of rewards to go with it for great behavior.

Funny, humorous and a perfect book not only for kids but for adults that forget to put away their clothes, shoes and toys leaving them around for others to clean up or fall over too. Remember, golf clubs, tennis rackets and baseball bats are just as dangerous to leave around as toys from a toy box.

As an educator I think this book would be great in classroom libraries in grades K-3 and in school libraries as read aloud. Guidance counselors could use this book to help children learn responsibility and for parents who come in that are frustrated when their kids do not listen and they to learn a better way to handle situations without yelling.

Children of all ages can read this book even if they cannot read the words, the pictures tell the story. Each picture can be used to help students predict outcomes and decide what might happen next to the little girl and the mother by just looking at the pictures. Great for teaching writing skills and having children create their own stories using individual pictures and making up their own ending and do’s and don’ts charts.

“That Mama is Grouch, “ definitely one my list of favorite children’s books for 2010. This is another great book to add to character education programs in schools.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer


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