Review of Me & Mama

Me & Mama 
by Cozbi A. Cabrera; illus. by the author 
Preschool, Primary    Millner/Simon    40 pp.    g 
8/20    978-1-5344-5421-7    $17.99 
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5422-4    $10.99 

In the early morning, a young unnamed Black girl tiptoes through the house and past various sleeping family members, to be greeted by the smell of cinnamon and her mother’s good-morning song. Even though the day is rainy, it’s a wonderful time to “be everywhere Mama is.” Throughout her day, the child makes clever observations about the similarities and differences between herself and her mother. While she has less toothpaste on her toothbrush, both she and Mama know to brush “round my teeth with little circles.” As they prepare to go outside to take a nature walk, it’s noted that “Mama’s rain boots are / bigger than mine. / And they’re red” — however, both pairs make an excellent splash in puddles. The girl is also keen to acknowledge how she and her mother care for each other — after her hair is combed, she returns the favor, accentuating her mom’s thick curls with “the purply pink barrette…She calls it fuchsia.” At the end of her day (“Our day is done earlier than / Mama and Papa’s / It’s just that way when you’re growing”), mother and daughter read stories to each other. Drifting off to sleep, the young girl is content to dream, knowing “there’ll be me and Mama.” Celebrating the beautiful dark brown skin of the duo, and surrounded by various hues of blue, Cabrera’s color-saturated illustrations, a mix of single pages and double-page spreads, add to the gentle charm of the conversational text. Large and small pairs of everyday objects appear on the endpapers, bolstering the celebration of the mother/daughter relationship.

From the January/February 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. 

Eboni Njoku
Eboni Njoku is a children’s librarian at the Anacostia Neighborhood Library Branch of the DC Public Library.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more