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Iris Loewen. Illustrated by Alan Pakarnyk
Winnipeg, MB: Pemmican Publications, 1986.
24pp., paper, $4.00..
ISBN 0-919143-37-7.. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Mothers-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 6 / Ages 3-11

Reviewed by Dale Simmons.

Volume 15 Number 5
1987 September

Born in Mennen, Saskatchewan, Iris Loewen, the author of My Mom is so Unusual, received a bachelor of education degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Involved both privately and professionally with Indian and Métis people, she worked as a librarian for the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in Saskatoon, setting up one of Canada's leading Native library collections.

Loewen's long-time interest in Native peoples is reflected in the black-and-white drawings by Alan Pakarnyk that accompany the text. Incidentally, Pakarnyk has animated five segments for the popular Sesame Street.

My Mom is so Unusual is the story of a single-parent family. It is a family where the roles are often reversed, with the little girl at times taking care of her mother - as in the case where the daughter sleeps with her Mom because the mother is afraid of the dark.

These two have a special relationship, they share a great deal together and this closeness makes them happy to be different from the families of most of their friends.

The book's print is large and consists of a few sentences per page. Each segment of text has a full-page illustration beside it. The text is simple enough for young children to understand but since the girl in the pictures could be anywhere from eight to twelve years old, older children who find themselves in this situation will be able to draw comfort from this story.

Dale Simmons, National Library of Canada, Ottawa, ON.
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