HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Happy Mamas, by Kathleen T. Pelley | Dedicated Review

Happy Mamas, by Kathleen T. Pelley | Dedicated Review

Review sponsored by Kathleen Pelley
The Children’s Book Review | October 21, 2016

happy-mamas-by-kathleen-pelley-copyHappy Mamas

Written by Kathleen T. Pelley

Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper

Age Range: 3-6

Hardcover: 30 pages

Publisher: CWLA Press (2016)

ISBN: 978-1587601606

What to expect: Animal Mothers, Animal Babies

An ode to mothers everywhere, Happy Mamas begins with this thought-provoking question: “What makes a Mama happy at the dawn of day?” This heartwarming illustrated exploration of meaningful moments between animal and human mothers and their babies takes place over the course of an entire day. With every question that is asked, a series of animal and human babies provide the answers—always finishing with relatable illustrations of humans that are sometimes eating, sometimes playing, but always delighting their mothers.

From a panda mama feeding her baby bamboo shoots “to munch and crunch,” to playful penguins with “wings all wonky,” Kathleen T. Pelley, the author of six picture books, is delightfully sprightly with her words. This makes Happy Mamas enjoyable to read out loud and enchantingly easy for young ears to listen to. Ruth E. Harper, well known as the illustrator of the bestselling classic The Kissing Hand, enhances the text even further with her beautiful portrayals of sincerely happy interactions between all mamas and their babies. There is a softness to her artistic style that deepens the meaning on each page and her brushstrokes provide sweeping movement that draw the eye to the detail of every illustration.

Happy Mamas would make a lovely baby shower or mothers’ day gift, and it also lends itself perfectly for a mother-child bedtime bonding book. It is a sweet serenade that will nurture young minds and sing straight to a mama’s heart.


Available Here in English: 

Available Here in Spanish: 

Download the Free Story Hour Kit: 

This story hour kit is designed to complement a reading of the picture book, Happy Mamas. Use this kit in an early childhood or elementary classroom, library, or bookstore or at a child’s party or play date. Available here.

About Kathleen Pelley


Kathleen Pelley

Kathleen Pelley was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but spent most of her childhood summers playing on her grandparents’ farm in Ireland. Her passion for stories stemmed from listening to them on the radio during the BBC children’s story hour. Later, her gentle Irish father fanned the flame even more by feeding her his tales of fairies, leprechauns, and banshees.

So much did Kathleen love stories, that off she went to Edinburgh University and earned a degree in HiSTORY. She didn’t much care for all the facts and dates and numbers, but how she loved the stories of Rasputin, Napoleon, and Bonnie Prince Charlie! One character in particular captured Kathleen’s imagination—Florence Nightingale. After completing her degree, Kathleen studied to become a children’s nurse, but it was a brief and disastrous dalliance. For much as Kathleen loved children, she did not like to see them sick and suffering. However, decades later, Kathleen now sees herself as a kind of a nurse, because she believes that stories can heal the hurts in our hearts.

As a former elementary teacher, Kathleen enjoys sharing her passion with people of all ages. She has been a regular speaker at Regis University on “Nurturing a Passion for Stories,” makes frequent presentations at schools and conferences, and has been telling stories at an inner city elementary school for the past 20 years. She believes that one of the best ways to teach our children empathy is through stories that help them “walk a mile in another man’s moccasins.” When she’s not reading, writing, telling, or listening to stories, Kathleen enjoys knitting, Scottish music, and hiking with her husband and two Golden Retriever dogs along the trails of sunny Colorado.

Kathleen Pelley is the author of six picture books:

The Giant King (2003), Child Welfare League of America (CD narrated by author – NAPPA storytelling award),

Inventor McGregor (2006), Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Bank Street Best Book and Colorado Book Award Winner),

Magnus Maximus, a Marvelous Measurer (2010), Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Bank Street Best Book, Colorado Book Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award, Anne Izard Storytelling Award),

Raj the Bookstore Tiger (2011), Charlesbridge (Colorado Authors League Award winner, Colorado Book Award finalist, Bank Street Best Book, and Cardoza Award finalist)

The Sandal Artist (2012), Pelican Publishing, 2013 Colorado Book Award finalist, 2013 World Storytelling Honor Award, 2013 Bock Book Award (fostering Franciscan values).

Happy Mamas (2016), CWLA Press, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper (illustrator of NY Times best seller, The Kissing Hand)

Kathleen PelleyFacebook | Twitter | Youtube | Pinterest | Google+

About Ruth E. Harper


Ruth E. Harper

Ruth is a self-taught English artist who fancies herself as a spiffy writer-in-the-making. She is the illustrator of #1 classic The Kissing Hand and Sassafras, and Happy Mamas is her 3rd book for CWLA. Powered by dark chocolate, she heartily knits stories together with letters, pencils and paintbrushes. She is often snatched up by breezes and colors and pint-sized things like rocks, leaves, shells, bugs, feathers, and creatures. You may also find her gardening, hiking, wildly dancing, and riding her bike really fast in an odd looking helmet. She now breathes easy in Iowa with an adorable husband, a dog, two cats, and six marvelous kids between them (with handfuls of grandbabies!). See her art at www.rutheharper.com.

Follow Along on the Happy Mamas Blog Tour


You can find the Happy Mamas tour stops here »

Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Kathleen Pelley, the author of “Happy Mamas,” sponsored this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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