"review" · Children's · Illustrator · Picture book · recommend

a quick little chat

30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Three: While Mama had a Quick Little Chat

by Amy Reichert  illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

A Richard Jackson Book (Atheneum, 2005).

quick rrring-rring


Oh, my! but this is a delightful one! Those quick little chats on the phone are never just a moment or two, are they?—unless a moment equates to 30 minutes or an hour. Amy Reichert has fun with this phenomena and I guarantee* that you will have fun, too. It is amazing what Rose is able to accomplish in the span of a quick little chat. She is certainly capable of feats beyond her mother’s bedtime preparatory expectations.

quick maamaReichert’s rhythm and rhyme infused evening has the story humming along. The lines do not come off as forced or contrived. And maybe some of it is the settting, but that fluidity of Madeline comes to mind–not that I wasn’t won over completely with the end rhymes: hors d’oervres and serve, weird and appeared. The mother-daughter interactions, too, were a riot.

quick comingRose’s vibrant red hair captured my attention and her personality just as vividly pops off the page. The blues and grays of Alexandra Boiger’s watercolor foreground the reds, yellows and greens. The interiors of the house are expansive and become filled with these larger than life characters and events. Rose’s adventure becomes as exaggerated as her mother’s sense of time, and they are a lovely pairing this way—and visually, too. They both come across a ridiculously fun—because who has not experienced the “quick phone call” scenario from one side or the other…I only wish mine had included such an exciting party.

This is one of those writer/illustrator teams I would love to see again–so yes, I will be looking up Take Your Mama to Work Day (Atheneum, 2012).


*as a test I interrupted Natalya (aged 13) in the middle of an intense scene behind enemy lines in the 12th chapter of Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. She agrees that the picture book is indeed funny and fun.

recommendations… a book to enjoy together, and not necessarily mother-daughter. a good bedtime book, as well as anytime book..except for maybe when one is on the phone.

of note: would be fun to invent a story of all the fun things that could happen while the parent is finishing their quick little chat after sharing this one together–do use big words and big imaginations, rhyme optional.

quick chat

the author’s story behind the story. a piece about the book on NPR.

I was reminded that Alexandra Boiger is the very same Illustrator on one of my favorite picture books from last year: the little bit scary people with Emily Jenkins (Hyperion 2008); my review.

{images belong to Alexandra Boiger. do follow the above link to her site to see more of her lovely work!}

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