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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
How to Make a Mom: The Perfect Cookbook for Kids of all Ages by Claressa Swenson is an imaginative and sweet storybook tribute to that special woman in our lives—our mothers. An unnamed little boy in a kitchen comes up with a special recipe to bake the mother of his dreams. With a list of ingredients, the story proceeds to a step-by-step baking procedure. What tickles our fancy is the metaphorical play of mixing real ingredients with ideal maternal attributes to the recipes. The story ends with an important note that if the reader already has a “delicious mom,” the actual procedure can be used to make scrumptious chocolate chip cookies. Alena Paklina’s illustrations create images of domestic comeliness with the young boy’s imaginings of his perfect mother coming to life and performing mommy deeds.
It is easy to forget the overlooked contributions of mothers in the formation of children. Mothers are the core determinants in a child’s healthy and happy adulthood. We often attribute our success and failings by looking back. We acknowledge how our mothers became instrumental in making our childhood idyllic or miserable. This storybook will remind all of us that our moms deserve a second look. They may not be perfect, but their imperfections make them unique. Our mothers’ uniqueness is an integral part of our growth. Of course, this does not underrate the contributions of fathers to our early formation. Having said this, perhaps Ms. Swenson can come up with a perfect recipe on how to make a dad. For now, this storybook makes a great bonding moment for a mother and child to read together as a bedtime story.