This was a deliberate omission on my part, because I felt that the book and its charming illustrator, Diane Goode, deserved special mention. After all, how could I not notice a book where the mom wears pink and green and wears her collar up?
As it turns out, this is no accident.
|Popping it with pearls: Diane Goode in her studio.|
Recently I had the privilege of corresponding briefly with the artist about the book and its aesthetic influences. "The style comes from my mom, who was French," she said. "She came from the war generation that believed you only needed one simple dress, a good pair of shoes, a bag and a few accessories to change it all up. When I was little my teachers were always 'wowed' when they met her. She must have seemed very different from New York moms. I often use her as my inspiration in my illustrations. She was full of life...a very kind and truly generous spirit."
Sadly, as one might expect in this day and age, a few critics simply went to pieces over this book. "It seems a bit anachronistic that Goode dresses Mom in a pink shirtwaist worthy of Father Knows Best," wrote Publishers Weekly. A Library Journal reviewer added, "Frustrated kids and their struggling parents will find this saccharine story a bit too naive." They seem to prefer the work of British author Bob Graham, whose "Let's Get a Pup," Said Kate and its sequels feature parents with nose rings and tattoos. Welcome to the new economy!
In any event, Feiffer and Goode's creation should nonetheless appeal to any parent who is likely to be reading this, as well as their kids. And, it's worth noting that toward the end of the book, when the mother is imagined to suffer a final humiliation for her "abuses," her collar is finally folded down. Coincidence? I think not.
I would also be remiss if I did not encourage everyone to check out the Louise the Big Cheese series, illustrated by Goode and written by the also-stylish Elise Primavera.
|We always love an OCBD.|