My Must-Have Mum

My Must-Have Mum
Maudie Smith and Jen Khatun
Lantana Publishing

This smashing story is told from the perspective of Jake and shows the special close relationship he has with his much-loved mother.

Jake’s mum is an inveterate skip scavenger seeing an opportunity for upcycling almost anything and everything, hence he calls her his ‘must-have mum.’ How the two of them manage to get some of her acquisitions up to their fourteenth floor urban flat, look like pretty difficult tasks, but Jake is hugely supportive of his mum’s unusual collecting habit.
Once home, she straightway starts working, transforming other people’s throw-aways into exciting new things, even working outdoors if necessary.

There’s one person who is anything but enthusiastic about Jake’s mum’s activities and that’s Mr Price. Indeed when he sees her latest effort his comment, “There she goes again. Your mum won’t be satisfied until she’s changed every last thing in the world!” sets alarm bells ringing as Jake lies in bed that night. Suppose she decided to change him too. Best to leave before she has the opportunity to do so, so off Jake goes outside into the cold. And there he remains until morning when he wakes to find …

What his must-have mum says to her ‘one and only must-have son’ is both hugely reassuring and uplifting.

In tandem with Maudie Smith’s words, Jen Khatun’s upbeat illustrations are bursting with energy and full of vibrant detail. This is a book I’d definitely recommend adding to family and primary school classroom collections.

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