Lovers of Samuel L. Jackon’s hilarious rendition of Go the F–k to Sleep will want to get their hands on the newly-released board book, M is for MAMA (and also Merlot): A Modern Mom’s ABCs, written by Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti and Met Opera soprano Kate Mangiameli.
The two became friends at a Starbucks one very early morning a few years ago. Benanti shares, “With our colicky babies strapped to us, we locked eyes and were like ‘Yes, I see you.’”
“We didn’t even know what we did for a living. We became friends based solely on our similarities and our motherhood. We both had post-partum depression. We both had a fraught breastfeeding journey. Then, we learned that we were both artists and how complicated that became as we went back to work, so we just became very dear friends.”
The inspiration for the book came from the two friends poking fun at traditional board books and sending each other funny messages. “A is for apple. B is for banana. C is for can you tell I’m going to jump out the window?”
They realized they would have both appreciated a funny, lighthearted book when they were new moms. So they got together, wrote down their ideas, and got a book deal with Peter Pauper Press.
“We’re hoping this book will bring some levity to those early weeks and months,” Benanti explains. “We want it to feel like a real celebration of moms, but also an anecdote to the polarity we see out there. On one hand, you have the sepia-toned, everything-is-perfect mommy blog, but then you also have the ones that are like, all I’m doing is drinking wine because I ate my children. We don’t want that either.”
Benanti emphasizes, “We’re trying to find the in-between because, frankly, that’s where motherhood really lives.”
A great gift for new moms, this book pairs perfectly with a bottle of Merlot and a genuine sense of humor.
Miranda is a freelance writer, editor, and educator who writes about raising a child with autism on her blog, Mommy Catharsis. Her work can also be found on Ann Arbor Family Press, Scary Mommy, Mamalode, and The Mighty. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or her business site, Keskes Ink.