Mamaloaf by Shirley Armitage

My grateful thanks to Chloe of Integrity Media for sending me a copy of children’s book Mamaloaf by Shirley Armitage and illustrated by Maria Ivanchenko in return for an honest review. It’s a pleasure to share that review today.

Mamaloaf was published by Integrity Media on 1st April 2023 and is available for purchase here.


Join Bapsy, a small bread loaf whose curiosity leads her to question how she came to be. With the help of Mamaloaf’s enchanting story of how she grew from small grain to wonderful bread, Bapsy learns the importance of transitioning and the challenges that can come with it. This beautiful story, accompanied by vivid illustrations, prompts parents and caregivers to begin a conversation with children about the way major changes can help a child adapt and thrive in any situation.

My Review of Mamaloaf

Bapbsy is cooking!

As usual when I review children’s books I like to assess their physical attributes because they need to withstand some challenging handling at times and Mamaloaf is smashing. It’s a good size for home or school sharing with a robust cover and it’s beautifully illustrated on glossy paper that gives it a sensation of quality in the hands.

The Mamaloaf story is surprisingly lengthy for a children’s book and whilst it’s targeted at 4+ I think it might be better for six year olds. That said, there’s a good balance of text to image and a good variety of sentence length so that there’s plenty to retain children’s attention.

Mamaloaf’s story for Bapsy is a really detailed and interesting presentation of how bread is made from grain to loaf, but more importantly, the narrative is a clever metaphor for life as Bapsy and her Mum are in an oven being turned from raw dough to loaves. Bapsy experiences a range of emotions including impatience and anxiety so that the book provides ample opportunity for children to voice their own concerns and to consider different possible stages in their own lives. Mamaloaf engenders a sense of self-worth and pride as well as a feeling of belonging that small children will find reasuring as the book illustrates that it is acceptable to be anxious or to ask questions when we’re not sure.

I thought Mamaloaf could be approached in many ways. It can be enjoyed as an entertaining story but it could also, for example, be the springboard to researching more about the food chain and how bread gets to our homes as well as prompting practical activities like baking. Mamaloaf would be highly useful for PHSE discussions too as a prompt for mental health discussions and how children might deal with troubling situations.

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