The Trouble with Mom - Babette Cole The Trouble with Mom is an illustrated children's book (first/second grade reading level) that takes a slightly skewed look at life from the point of view of a young child whose mother is refreshingly different from the rest of his classmates. The child doesn't find his mom's quirks at all refreshing though and is a little embarrassed by mom.

The mom wears lots of bright lipstick, funky pointed hats rimmed with rats, and she wears the most adorable high heels even when she's doing something as ordinary as stirring her bubbling cauldron. Her gothic looking home is outfitted in spooky d├ęcor and she keeps a giant furry bird, a creature that looks like a huggable alligator and a fuzzy tarantula as pets.

One day the child decides to invite his friends over for a visit. The "normal" parents, of course, are horrified at the suggestion and tell their kids they cannot go. The kids, being typical kids, ignore their parents, go anyway and have a fabulous time being "wild". When their parents discover where they've been they freak and call the "different" mom some hurtful names which make her sad.

When the school is ravaged by a terrible fire and the "witch" mom saves the day the other parents realize that, hey, maybe they were wrong and she's okay after all! A lesson is learned by all. The young child and the PTA members accept the unique mom for who she is and learn to co-exist quite nicely after their rough start.

This is a great story with some laugh out loud moments, comical illustrations and a thoughtful message. The words were all familiar or easy enough that my six year old beginning reader figured them out without becoming frustrated. He enjoyed reading the entire story to his little sister and read each word with enthusiasm. Being six, he particularly enjoyed the illustrations of the "Fear Factor-like" cupcakes his mom served to members of the PTA that were crawling with bugs and other various grossness (I got quite the laugh out of the horrified reactions of the parents too). This is a five star read in our house!