Book Review: Kate Feiffer’s My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life

Posted November 11, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kate Feiffer’s My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life

My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life


Kate Feiffer

picture book that was published by Paula Wiseman Books on March 24, 2009 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
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Illustrator: Diane Goode

A standalone picture book of a young girl with embarrassing parents.

My Take

It’s that age-old embarrassment every child faces as they grow, when a parent can’t do anything right in public. Kisses? Ick. Hugs? Ick.

Of course some of the ways in which Mom is ruining her life are sensible prohibitions. Others? Yeah, I’d be pissy too.

Fortunately the girl is into equality (and a first-person protagonist point-of-view)…’cause Dad is trying to ruin her life too. Yep. All the usual, inconsiderate expectations. Yeesh.

Some of the little girl’s plans are too funny, especially as she follows their, um, natural consequences. Get your kids’ imaginations going with their own plans…and help them find those consequences. Eeep.

Goode’s illustrations are terrific. I’m thinking pen and ink and watercolors for these soft yet cheerful graphics.

This would be an excellent story to discuss (that’s such a nasty word. Sounds like WORK.). What if we say, the story offers up opportunities to think up all the terrible things your child thinks you’re doing to ruin their lives! Then pick and choose the ones where you can be less “awful”. ‘Cause that ending will definitely make your kids re-think.

The Story

Everyone has only nice things to say about my mom.

Everyone likes her.

She looks nice.

She bakes great cookies and makes me feel better when I have a bad day.

But would a really nice mom do embarrassing things like kiss me in public and tell loud jokes that no one thinks are funny? Well, my mom does those terrible things and worse — that’s why I am sure that I have the most embarrassing mom in the world and that my mom is trying to ruin my life…

The Characters

Mom. Dad. Imaginative little girl.

The Cover and Title

The cover is too sweet for words with its creamy background that contrasts well with the pink and green of the title (which is in different sizes in a funky font) at the top, followed by Mom in her pink dress with green belt and handbag bending over to kiss her angry daughter, dressed in green with a pink belt. The author’s and illustrator’s names are in white at the bottom of the cover inside a red-violet band…with love.

The title is only half right, for, while My Mom is Trying to Ruin My Life, Dad is doing his part too.