Freaky Friday: “Was I Dreaming Or Did You Just Punch Me?”

Freaky Friday is written by Mary Rodgers. It was published in 1972 by Harper & Row.

Annabel thinks her mom has the best life. If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted. Then one morning she wakes up to find she’s turned into her mother . . . and she soon discovers it’s not as easy as it looks!

I stumbled across Freaky Friday in the library and was immediately intrigued. I know about the Disney movie, but I didn’t realize it had actually been based on a book. The author is pretty famous, as well; she wrote the play/musical Once Upon a Mattress.

This book was wildly funny, in a “this is so crazy” kind of way. Annabel does so many hilarious things as her mother, making many, many fumbles—and yet shows her quick-wittedness by somehow managing to deflect attention from said fumbles. It also, of course, allows for Annabel both to see herself outside of herself, and see her mother in a different light.

Rodgers is very good at crafting the humor through dialogue and scene, and I had an absolute blast reading the book as a result. From Annabel-as-her-mother’s “Shut up, Virginia,” echoed later by every other girl friend, to her continually calling her husband her father and everyone’s concern over her psychological well-being as a result, to her punching her father/husband awake and finishing off her interaction with him with “What a cute man!”—everything about the book was enjoyable.

My one problem with the book is how Rodgers completely glosses over the fact of how exactly Annabel’s mother switched them. I’m not expecting a detailed explanation, but just the “Oh, yes, I switched us” was a little unsettling and strange.

Rating: 4/5

Recommended Age Range: 10+

Warnings: None.

Genre: Realistic, Children’s

If I were Ma and had a daughter who looked like me, I wouldn’t admit it either. Besides, I don’t. Look like her, that is. I wish I did.

“Well, today I do, and it’s a great improvement,” I thought to myself, and slinked out of the bathroom and into the bedroom where Daddy was still sleeping. I gave him a little punch on the shoulder to wake him up.

“Hey,” I said, “are you awake?”

“I am now,” he said. “Was I dreaming or did you just punch me?”

Overall Review:

Freaky Friday is tons of fun, and picturing Annabel’s mother saying the things that Annabel is saying is hilarious. My one issue is that there is no explanation of how Annabel’s mother switched them, and the whole thing is pretty abrupt and strange. Other than that, though, this book was just plain enjoyment through and through.

You can buy this here: Freaky Friday

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