Mum goes to work by Libby Gleeson and Leila Rudge

cover image

Walker Books, 2015. ISBN 9781921529826
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour, Childcare, Working parents, Families. First published in 1992, this book has a new illustrator and cover to adapt to the changing times. The cover is no longer one reassuring a child that this is what some mums do, but the focus is on the day of the child at Childcare, with the range of activities a child will be engaged with during the day explored. Beginning with being dropped at the childcare centre, the day moves on through art work, building, playing in the sandpit, dressing up, lunch, sleeping time, until tired, they are picked up to go home. On the opposite side of the page, the text tells us what some of the mothers do with their days. Some Mums are nurses, some work in a cafe or clothes shop, some are students, some gardeners, while some stay at home. A brief outline of what their work entails completes each page, and Rudge's illustrations make it easy for children to envisage these occupations.
Each double page presents what the child does and what a Mum does with their days. The text and illustrations invite the reader to look closely at what their Mums do, and compare their days. For younger readers this will engage them in conversations about their families, and they will be able to see that other children live similar lives and that everyone's life is just as busy. They will get some idea of what their mothers do during their days and be more able to see why everyone is tired at the end of their days' work.
Rudge's mixed media illustrations are inviting. She uses humour to reiterate the words shown on each page, and readers will love finding some of the things shown on each page. And I loved the last page with the kids going home with their parents holding the wonderful things made during the day.
Fran Knight