Cover image for Mama talks too much
Mama talks too much
Russo, Marisabina.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
On the way to the store, Celeste is frustrated when her mother constantly stops to talk with neighborhood friends, until Celeste finds a reason of her own for stopping.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Celeste and Mama are walking to the market. But here comes Mrs. Green. And then Mrs. Walker. Followed by Mr. Chan. And always Mama has something to say. Talk, talk, talk. Blah, blah, blah. Mama talks too much! (Or so Celeste thinks.)And then Mrs. Castro comes by with something small and furry on the end of a leash... Now who do you suppose is suddenly all ears -- and all talk, talk, talk?

Author Notes

Marisabina Russo is a children's book author and illustrator. She has written and illustrated over twenty books for children and young adults. Her most notable books include The Line Up Book (winner of the IRA Children¿s Book Award) and Always Remember Me (an ALA Notable Book). She was born in New York, New York and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with BA in Studio Art in 1971. She began her career as a freelance illustrator. Her work appeared frequently in The New Yorker and included several covers. She then went on to illustrate a book of poetry for children, Vacation Time by Nikki Giovanni. She started publishing her own stories with Greenwillow Books in 1986. Russo¿s books come from her childhood memories and her experiences as a mother. Her illustrations, painted in gouache, are colorful and two-dimensional, reminiscent of folk art. Ms. Russo has also written young adult novels.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-7. In a nifty urban landscape of pizza parlors, bagel shops, and laundromats, Celeste is trying to hurry her mom along to the supermarket. Unfortunately for Celeste, Mama refuses to rush: she meets friends and neighbors and stops to chat. Celeste's eye-rolling impatience is palpable as she counts cars in the street and Mrs. Walker's pieces of jewelry. Mama tells Mr. Chan about the tenants' meeting and finds out Mrs. Walker has been sick all week. When Mama meets Mrs. Castro, however, Celeste is taken by her new puppy, Jake, and the shoe is on the other foot. Warm, tactile shapes defined by strong gouache colors fill the pages, as Celeste and Mama walk the city sidewalks and cross at the light. Winsome and utterly recognizable. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Most kids will readily relate to the scenario Russo (Hannah's Baby Sister) so warmly unfolds in this slice-of-life picture book. Celeste and her mother embark on their regular Saturday foray to the supermarket but, much to Celeste's frustration, her mother stops every few blocks to greet friends and neighbors: "They talk and talk and talk. Blah, blah, blah." The tables are turned, however, when Celeste takes time out to visit a neighbor's new puppy. In a companionable ending, Celeste and her mother get under way again, and this time it's the two of them who do all the talking. The text neatly pins down Celeste's feelings, and the artwork is equally assured. Favoring her customary streamlined style, Russo paints a lively progression of city snapshots, past brownstones with ornate grillwork and window boxes, across busy streets and by a flurry of small businesses. She carefully edits the detailsÄthe pages are full of action but not overcrowded, and what she does include (street signs, window displays, and so on) is in service to the flow of color, form and line. Children who know an adult or two endowed with Celeste's mom's gift of gab will enjoy sharing this with them. Ages 4-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2 Celeste sets off with her mother for their ritual Saturday morning walk to the supermarket. On the way, Mama stops to chat with one neighbor after another. "They talk and talk and talk. Blah, blah, blah." With each delay, the girl restlessly tugs at her Mama's pocketbook urging, "Let's go." Finally, they meet Mrs. Castro with her new puppy and, suddenly, it's Celeste who wants to linger. The setting is an idealized, multiethnic, urban neighborhood cheerfully rendered in Russo's bright, flat, gouache paintings. There's not really much of a story here it's more of a predictable litany with little tension or excitement. Compared to some of Russo's wonderful earlier books, this latest offering, though a pleasant slice of life, is just a little bland. Sue Norris, Rye Free Reading Room, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.