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Children’s Picture Book Review – Mootilda’s Bad Mood

MOOTILDA’S BAD MOOD

Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Kirsti Call

Illustrated by Claudia Ranucci

(Little Bee Books; $17.99, Ages 4-8)

 

 

 

Have you ever woken up one morning and everything goes wrong, putting you in a bad mood? Has it ever happened to one of your children? The answer to both questions is, of course, it has.  And that is exactly the scenario that begins the hilarious rhyming verse picture book Mootilda’s Bad Mood.

 

Int Spread Mootildas Bad Mood
Interior spread from Mootilda’s Bad Mood written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Kirsti Call and illustrated by Claudia Ranucci, Little Bee Books ©2020.

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The story begins with Mootilda waking up with hay in her hair, her pillow gone, and her dolla cow, what else?fallen from her bed. She goes to her moomaw cow (as opposed to mama cow) who hugs her and gives her a treat but when this falls, it sets off Mootilda to proclaim, “I’m in a bad mood!” Her mother suggests she goes out to play. Mootilda takes her advice and plays rope with calves, swims with lambs, rides bikes with pigs, and plays ball with ponies. However every single time, something unfortunate happens which leaves Mootilda in an even worse mood than before.

The refrain of “I’m in a bad mood!” reflects Mootilda’s worsening mood as the day progresses with each additional “O” that is added to the word “mood.” When she finally meets up with chickens, who are also in a bad mood, it is Mootilda this time who tries to cheer them up. But when something goes wrong with her attempt, instead of making her mood worse, she laughs about it and finally realizes her bad mood is gone. And with her bad mood gone, she figures out a way she can help others in the future, as shown in the final pictures of the book.

 

int art Mootildas Bad Mood
Interior spread from Mootilda’s Bad Mood written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Kirsti Call and illustrated by Claudia Ranucci, Little Bee Books ©2020.

 

Ranucci’s illustrations are cheerful, bright, and colorfulthe exact opposite of the feelings of a bad mood. They make it impossible for any reader who might be in a bad mood to remain that way after perusing through the delightful pictures.

The book is filled with funny animal, cow and moo words, like cow-tastrophe, cow-incidence, and cow-miserate. This wordplay adds to the enjoyment of the book, especially when read aloud and emphasized. But what I really liked about Mootilda’s Bad Mood was that co-authors Rosen Schwartz and Call have taken a concept that we can all relate to and presented it in such a humorous tale. The story acknowledges and allows everyone, especially kids, to be in a bad mood. It’s perfectly okay to sometimes feel like that, but there are also ways to deal with it and that is a great take-away message.

• Reviewed by Freidele Galya Soban Biniashvili

 

Click here to read a review of another picture book by Corey Rosen Schwartz.
Click here to read a review of another picture book illustrated by Claudia Ranucci.

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UDDERLY HYSTERICAL AMAZING COW CONTEST

amazing-cows-820x1024This month we’re giving away one autographed copy of Sandra Boynton’s Amazing Cows (Workman Publishing, $10.95, all ages up to a hundred and moo). Read below for a review, but enter now for your chance to win by clicking here. Remember to write AMAZING COW in the subject line. The contest ends on Jan. 31 so don’t wait. For rules, please click here now.

Make room next to your kids’ well-read copies of Hippos Go Berserk, The Going to Bed Book, Moo Baa, La! La! La! and Let’s Dance, Pookie, because Amazing Cows is mooooving in!

You want edgy cows, sensitive cows, heroic cows and “mystified chickens”? Keep reading. With her special brand of Sandra silliness, Boynton finds new ways to make cow humor fresh and full of “udder absurdity,” with or without words. When my 9-year-old son read it from cover to cover, laughing non-stop, I positioned myself over his shoulder to find out what was so funny. Was it the artwork, stories, poems, jokes, riddles, cow myth or cow comic book that tickled his fancy? It was all that and more, including the Four Stages of Metamoophosis and a cow limerick. An added bovine bonus: a free download of “Bolero Completely Unraveled.” If you buy (or win) one cow book this year, it’s got to be Amazing Cows.

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The Cow That Was The Best Moo-ther

9780061664724Harper Collins brings you The Cow That Was The Best Moo-ther by Andy Cutbill with illustrations by Russel Ayto for children ages 4-8. This book is a follow-up to Cutbill and Ayto’s first book, The Cow that Laid an Egg!

Bold and brilliant illustrations pull you into each page to join Marjorie the cow as she pursues an opportunity to enter her baby Daisy into a Beautiful Baby Contest.

Remember however that the sign reads CONTEST STRICTLY FOR COWS.THE BEST COW Ints. US SALES

While moms practiced with the baby cows to prepare them for the big event, Daisy, hatched from an egg, preferred to hang out with the chickens. Despite rampant Mom cow gossip about little Daisy not meeting developmental milestones such as talking or chewing cud, Daisy’s mom Marjorie kept up her spirits.

The contest proved disasterous when it was declared by the Farmer’s wife that Daisy was a chicken and therefore ineligible. But chicken or cow, Daisy was Marjorie’s daughter whom she loved her with all her heart. And Mom Marjorie clearly wins in another way as Bull Derek awards her “Best In Show.”

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