Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

Candlewick. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536211511.
K-Gr 3–In LaCour’s debut picture book, a young girl wakes up on a Monday morning and starts her day like any other, with one difference. After breakfast, one of her mothers leaves on a work trip that will last the whole week. It’s a disorienting experience for the girl. She can’t find the right place to sit at the table, she forgets she doesn’t need to buy blueberries, and most of all, she just plain misses her. On Friday, the girl comes up with a plan to welcome Mommy home, and she needs Mama’s help. But when Mommy gets home on Sunday, the young girl is surprised to find out that even in the aftermath, she’s still sad about Mommy being gone for the whole week. With time, she’s able to accept a hug from her Mama and Mommy, content in her place back in the middle. Juanita’s distinct style is unique and adds a touch of whimsy to this story that deals with big feelings. The pages are filled with muted yet warm colors that really explore feelings of love and (temporary) loss. The childlike voice seems authentic to the main character. The narrator has warm brown skin, as does Mommy, while Mama has lighter skin and purple hair.
VERDICT This story lends itself well to conversations about feelings, boundaries, and social-emotional learning; the sweet, inclusive story will resonate with children who are missing a loved one.

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