Sunday, October 21, 2012
Working Mummies, written by Joan Horton and illustrated by Drazen Kozjan. Farrar Straus Giroux, Douglas & McIntyre. 2012. $14.50 ages 5 and up
She isn't a commuter.
She conjures spells for
On her personal computer.
Other mums sell houses.
They're not the least bit
By buyers who insist upon
Old dwellings that are haunted."
This is a book that begs to be shared with kids at Halloween. How often have you considered a job for your mom within the context of Halloween, and how that might change what she does for a living? As you can see from the above quote, it takes imagination and a way with words to make that happen.
Readers, and listeners are bound to be intrigued and at times, grossed out, by the work these women do. I guarantee they will be giggling all the while. Dressed in all shades of green, purple, orange and red, these working mummies go about their day in a fantasy city peopled by ghouls, ghosts, goblins, werewolves, zombies and monsters. Oh, did I forget to mention bats, black cats, worms, and spiders?
Mummies work in every facet of society and are of service to many in their busy and eerie community. They share their talents in restaurants, stores, schools, doctors' offices, and factories. Their jobs range from caterers to librarians, beauticians to pet groomers. They contribute to the health and well-being of their and its citizens. The descriptions of the jobs they do are funny, and often icky. The waitress serves 'Scream of Wheat', the caterers serve 'baby bat wings' and the doctor doles out 'coffin syrup' while the dentist files fangs for vampires.
What fun it must have been for Drazen Kozjan to fill these pages with detailed creature images and their environs! His invitation to join him in the fun begins ahead of the title page with a mummy's upright coffin and a bony hand stretching out of it. Turn the page and that hand is turning off the alarm for the mummy who is obviously ready for another day's work. Her cat is awakened and also leaving his nighttime abode, and her purse is at the ready for a quick grab as she heads out the door. This clever artwork enhances the humor of the telling and will hold attention through repeated readings. There is so much to see!