________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 19 . . . . May 16, 2008


Come On, Mom!: 75 Things for Mothers and Daughters to Do Together.

Cynthia MacGregor.
Montreal, PQ: Lobster Press, 2008.
123 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-897073-76-6.

Subject Headings:
Family recreation-Juvenile literature.
Mothers and daughters-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 7 / Ages 2-12 & mothers.

Review by Lizanne Eastwood.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


As kids grow older they may want less one-on-one time with their parents. Mom takes a backseat to friends, homework and computer games. And of course, few moms today have endless hours at their disposal to play with their kids. Which is why you want to make the time you do spend with them really count.


Although this book is as an activity and craft book, I would be tempted to call it a parenting manual as well. All of the activities enforce the idea that a parent is a child's first and most important teacher. This doesn't just refer to academic teachings as Come On, Mom! encompasses activities that promote pretend and imaginative play, volunteerism, random acts of kindness, patience and taking care of our earth through reuse and recycling of items. These are skills and virtues which all or our children, not just daughters, can use in their everyday lives.

     The book's activities do not seem to be presented in any particular order, though many activities will refer you to the page of another activity which might further the fun or learning taking place. The table of contents is well-laid out, side-bars on each page list materials that are needed (or activities that don't require any materials at all) and the author alerts the reader when any dangerous materials, such as sharp knives or hot ovens, will be used. Many of the activities provide ideas for different age or skill levels as well as offering extensions such as visiting the library to find out more about a topic. There are a number of blank pages at the back of the book for recording your experiences or writing down your own ideas for activities.

     The ideas in Come On, Mom! are as varied as playing "Mom's Eating Alligators," an alphabet travel game, to creating your own perfume from fragrant wild or store bought flowers. This is one activity I wish I had known about when my daughter was young. But you know, although she is 14, I think we will do this activity together when our lilacs start to bloom next month.

     If your family likes to create home made gifts for birthdays and holidays, there are many lovely ideas such as jewelry from salt and flour beads, glittery hair clips or pomander balls. There are some simple cooking ideas such as mock calzones and smoothies and more elaborate ideas like cooking a full meal for an elderly neighbour or sick friend. For girls who like to make a dining table look special, there is an activity about the art of napkin folding. I found it amusing that an activity I have done with my children, the baking soda/vinegar exploding volcano, has been give the more "girlie" name of The Bubbling Fountain.

     As a literacy worker, it was great to see that many of these ideas promoted reading, spelling, counting and other math skills, geography and science experiments. I have many craft, activity and science experiment books in my own collection, but I have never come across the activity called "Cow-a-plastic." You can actually make a plastic ball by heating milk until lumps form, adding vinegar and then letting the concoction sit until it turns to rubbery plastic. Cool!

     For the artists in your life, there are a myriad of exciting projects, mobiles, collages, fingerprint art and even painting their own room. Many of the ideas in Come On, Mom! would be great for birthday parties and sleepovers. With ideas to use with your children from about age 2-12, this is a resource a family could turn to again and again.

Highly Recommended.

Lizanne Eastwood is a Community Literacy Coordinator with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, a library employee and a home schooling parent of two active teenagers in Grand Forks, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.