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How It Works: The Mum - Book Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published January 18th 2018
Are you a busy Mum? If you are then you will love this book
How It Works the Mum
Hazeley & Morris

I had to pull a toy out of my daughter's throat this morning. I walked into her room to find her sobbing and almost choking on a piece of wooden fruit. I dropped what I was doing and ran to her side. I reached into her mouth and pulled out the obstruction and then proceeded to spend ten minutes lecturing my toddler about what she should and should not put into her mouth.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Being a Mum is exhausting and frustrating and incredibly rewarding all at once. It's being woken up at 5am by a little person shouting "I want a milk!" and it's explaining to a toddler why jumping off the couch is never a good idea and it's begging them to be please be nice to the cat.

When I saw "How it works: The Mum" in a bookshop I was shopping alone with my daughter so it immediately got a smile out of me. The past couple of years have seen a real explosion in children's books for adults that parody popular children's books and nursery rhymes from years past. These books are not for children and often have adult humour and themes in them.

"How it works: The Mum" is a satirical version of Penguin's classic Ladybird books. Ladybird Books are a London based publishing company that have been publishing children's books since 1867. They published their first children's book under the Ladybird Logo in 1914 and released the first classic Ladybird Book "Bunnikin's Picnic Party" in 1940.

In October 2015 they announced that they will be releasing a spoof line of Ladybird books for adults written by comedy writing duo Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris. "How it works: The Mum" is part of the first wave of books. Other titles include the Husband, the Wife, the Hipster, the Hangover, Mindfulness, Dating and the Shed.

The books use dark humour and are about modern situations but include original illustrations originally used in Ladybird Books from the 50s and 60s. The "Ladybird Books for Grown Ups" series was a massive success. The books sold 1.5 million copies in the first four months of being released and at one point managed to score eight out of the top ten positions in the UK best seller list for non-fiction hardbacks.

"How it works: The Mum" would appeal to Mums of all ages or to anyone who grew up reading the original Ladybird books. I liked how the book took artwork from the Ladybird archive and inserted the characters into scenarios that modern Mums often find themselves in.

The idea behind these books is a gold mine. What makes them so good is how honest they are about motherhood. I love being a Mum but sometimes it can be god damn frustrating when your kid does something stupid because they just don't know any better.

"How it works: The Mum" would make a fantastic Mother's Day present. It is a pocket-sized book of Mum jokes that rings so true it can be hard not to chuckle out loud while reading it. If you like collecting weird and funny books you should definitely pick this one up.
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Why? This vintage inspired little book pokes fun at motherhood in hilarious and very realistic scenarios!
When: This would make a great Mother's day present
Where: Try your local book store or online book sellers
Cost: $9 - $19.99
Your Comment
I've seen these ladybird books in shops; they're such a great idea. I've never read one, but those passages are brilliant.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 1634 days ago
I love these books. My little one constantly empties the laundry basket too. Sooooo helpful....
by Former Writer (score: 2|308) 1634 days ago
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