Monday, June 14, 2010

Review of Emily Van Do’s “Mama Never Told Me”

(Note: Its taken me a bit longer than I planned to do this review. As much as I enjoy this book it was really difficult for me to think of how to phrase all my thoughts on it.
*This book was given to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.)


Title: “Mama Never Told Me…”
Author: Emily Van Do
Illustrator: G. F. Newland

About the book:
The front cover gives you a good idea of what to expect in the line “A diary of unbelievable comments and questions posed to a pregnant woman” and the humorously cute picture of the tired looking pregnant woman dressed in what many expecting moms would prefer to wear all day, a robe and comfy jams.
The book itself is full of full page color illustrations with laugh out loud worthy comments that’ll have you turning the pages just to see what on earth could top what you just read. The questions and comments posed to this woman (the author) during her pregnancy is enough to have anyone who has been pregnant or is pregnant wince in sympathy.

My thoughts:
When it was inquired on who would want to read and review this book I was instantly interested. I love books, and have a great fondness for pregnancy books that aren’t trying to tell you what to do, but that are purely humorous and for fun. After looking at a preview of “Mama Never Told Me…”, which can be found at the book’s website, I knew I just had to do the review. As someone who has been pregnant in high school and twice in college I felt who can be better qualified than someone who has been asked and told all manners of rude and sometime moronic things from pre-teens (I have four younger siblings who all sadly have friends), teens, teachers, and other adults.

I was extremely excited when the book came in and read through it twice that night. It only has 32 pages, and only the introduction has a full page of writing and the backsides of pages are blank. I found the book vastly humorous and some of the comments were dead on many that I had received myself. Emily Van Do did a great job capturing the comments that I think people just don’t think about before uttering. The illustrations are just perfect for the tone of the book. The frustration and sometimes humiliation women feel when hearing these types of things comes across so well in the face of the pregnant lady. I think the match of words and pictures is wonderful. I found the book highly funny.

I found the book so entertaining I showed it to my mother the next day when she came over to visit. She too found it to be very amusing, but not quite as much as I did, so I asked her why. She said the only real problem she had with the book was the fact that instead of saying butt they always said the swear word version. That alone, she said, would turn her off buying the book for others. I honestly hadn’t really noticed it until she pointed it out, but I don’t have the cleanest mouth myself. I can see how though it could bother people who choose not to use words like it.

Also, while there were many comments that I definitely had heard myself, there were still quite a few that I had never heard directed at me or other pregnant women. Those sort of left me thinking, “Really? Who on earth would say something like that?” Unbelievable as those were, they were still funny, and, I feel, added to the feel of the book.

My recommendation:
Would I buy the book for myself? No, probably not, but then I don’t plan on being pregnant again. Even if I did, I still probably wouldn’t buy it just because it’s not the type of thing I would buy myself. Would I buy it for others? Oh most definitely. Its the great sort of humor and stress relief the extremely pregnant would love, and a great gag type joke for the expecting moms at baby showers. The only thing I would add is to be sure you really know the person you buy it for. I wouldn’t buy it for someone who doesn’t like cussing, nor for those who get offended by boob and butt jokes.

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