Get Ready, Mama!
Sharon Giltrow and Arielle Li
EK Books: 2022
Reviewed by Viv Young
A young girl provides instructions for getting a reluctant mum out of bed and ready for work in the morning.
This humorous story will have both kids and parents laughing out loud as it parodies the many strategies parents use to hurry their kids along in the morning. The role reversal is perfect for discussing routines with school age children as it gives them insight into the stages of getting ready that parents need to think about while keeping the mood light and entertaining. It’s also a great reminder for parents not to sweat the small stuff. The child in this story is parenting in the way we’d all like to on our best days—calmly waiting for her mum to finish on the toilet, turning the tv off when it distracts, allowing mum to wear her dancing shoes with just a little sigh. Parents can learn a lot from the wise child-parent in this story.
With its rich muted browns, oranges and purples, the artwork for Get Ready, Mama! feels like a great big morning hug when the sun isn’t quite up. The warm colours draw attention to the love and caring that lies behind the getting ready routine, even in its tricky moments. The illustrations use body language and facial expressions to capture the different pre-occupations of Mama and child. For example, Mama is smelling a flower while the child is busy shooing the puppy out the back door. These details work seamlessly with the text to create wonderful humour but are also useful to discuss with kids who may not always be aware of what parents are doing in the morning.
Get Ready, Mama! is an entertaining way to think about routines from a different perspective and may help both parents and kids see the morning hustle and bustle in a new light.