18 October, 2021

LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Fictional Mothers

What Moms Can’t Do
By Douglas Wood
Illustrated by Doug Cushman

Many years ago for Mother’s Day, when my soon-to-graduate-high-school sons were young, they gave me a sweet picture book entitled What Moms Can’t Do, written by Douglas Wood and illustrated by Doug Cushman. In this story, the child (in this case, some sort of dinosaur) tells the reader all the things his mom cannot do, which in reality are things the child himself struggles with, such as picking out the right clothes, making his bed, saying goodbye to Mom at daycare, and watching scary movies by himself. Other things are activities he wishes his mom could do, like run faster or pack junk food in his lunch. And then there are things that moms truly can’t do, for example when the child is making a ruckus.

Sometimes moms can’t hear themselves think (whatever that means).


Moms can’t let go of a hug without a kiss.

Or two.

Or nine.

There are lots of things moms can’t do.

More than you can count.

But there’s one thing they do better

than almost anyone . . .

and that’s love you.


—Angie Dilmore

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