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Your Mommy Was Just Like You

Grandparents love to tell their grandchildren all the good and really bad stuff about their children. Why? Maybe it’s revenge for all those nights when their child woke them up to say “Mommy, I feel sick” and then vomited all over them.

Or maybe its for these lines in the book Your Mommy Was Just Like You by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by David Walker:

Your mommy is my baby.
And no matter how big she gets,
or how old she gets,
she will always be my baby.

Bennett’s narrator is the grandmother who shares the secrets of her daughter’s childhood with her granddaughter. This is a wonderful story for grandparents to read to their grandchildren. It will help spark dialogue on a more meaningful level. And it will make a fun storytime. The illustrations are simple and big so you can easily show them to larger preK groups. I think I’d keep this in the preschool area primarily to the phrasing “I’d bandage her scrapes and give her extra lovies.”

Lovies? I think my mother gave us extra kisses on our booboo’s and owies. No matter this one phrase, this title remains a sweet celebration of families and childhood. The author has a companion title from 2010 called Your Daddy Was Just Like You which I think is a necessary purchase if you missed it last year.

Being a blogger means sometimes I receive publicity information about titles and authors. Kelly Bennett’s Your Mommy Was Just Like You is one example. The publicist shared “Q & A with Kelly Bennett” with me and I loved getting the inside picture on her writing process. Here’s a sample question:

Tell us about your writing process. When and where do you like to write, and do you spend time each day writing? Do you believe in outlining?

I don’t write everyday. But everyday I do something writing-related, whether it’s reading, dreaming stories, critiquing other writers, or taking care of writing business. I don’t outline. I find I lose energy for a story if I tell it to anyone or solve all the problems. I brainstorm stories in bed, last thing at night and first thing in the morning. When I’m ready to write, I work on the computer because my handwriting is horrible and my hand gets tired easily. Good thing I’m a fast typist.

I saw by the author information that Kelly Bennett has written a picture book about Dance Halls called Dance, Y’all, Dance and I immediately thought of my colleague Mary Gavlik who loves contra dancing (which I’ve still never seen in my life). Mary shared this info on facebook and I think it so wonderfully expresses why dancing is important to so many people and books like Dance, Y’all, Dance need to be in our collections:

I enjoy contra dancing because it’s a place where time stands still. I can dance for hours & it seems like a minute. It’s a place where I can turn off my brain and just relax. Contra dancing, like no other activity, compels me to live in the present.

On Mother’s Day, I miss my grandmother and wish I could be close enough to my mother Sue Lynne Ekren Ritts to show her how much I love her. I’d bake her breakfast (my favorite cinnamon coffee cake) and make her coffee. But she’d most likely beat me to the kitchen because I inevitably forget an silly ingredient like baking soda or salt. I’d make sure she had her beautiful corsage to wear to church and I’d give her lots of hugs. You see, I will always be my mommy’s baby, too, and I love her.

Other reviews of Your Mommy Was Just Like You can be found below:


  1. […] to Diane Chen, School Library Journal Blogger “Practically Paradise“, for this May 8 posting featuring Your Mommy. Despite our “lovies” vs. […]