Hurts Like a Mother – An illustrated parody of Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies

See sample pages of Hurts Like a Mother at Wink.

Hurts Like a Mother: A Cautionary Alphabet

by Jennifer Weiss (author), Lauren Franklin (author) and Ken Lamug (illustrator)


2016, 64 pages, 5.5 x 6 x 0.5 inches

$11 Buy a copy on Amazon

An abecedarian picture book for grown-ups, Hurts Like A Mother is a black-and-white illustrated parody of Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Mirroring the dark humor of Gorey's book, the hazards of parenting is explored alphabetically, each letter attributed to a different mom in peril. From the ludicrous, where moms asphyxiate from being strangled by inflatable pool toys, pass out from the price of American Girl dolls, meet their maker from flammable breast pumps, and expire from ennui over reading parenting books in the library, to the real-life issues facing moms, such as the problems with extended snow days, difficulties with carpools, and the myriad troubles with time management, Hurts Like A Mother is a brief but humorously morbid book.

Harkening to the gothic Victorian mood from Gorey's original illustrations and poems, the stark black-and-white drawings comically depict modern parenting crises, particularly when portraying the faces of the harried mothers which range from fatigued to intoxicated to homicidal. Not completely filled with doom-and-gloom, Hurts Like A Mother ends as the final mom relaxes beach-side while being fanned with a palm-frond and casually sipping a tropical adult beverage.

– S. Deathrage