Me & Mama (Cozbi A. Cabrera)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera, an absolutely gorgeous ode to the special moments between mother and daughter.

As a little girl descends the stairs, she is greeted warmly by her mother; they are the only two awake yet, and Papa and brother Luca are still asleep. The pair start the day by sipping on drinks (a fancy teacup for Mama, a sippy cup for the little girl). They brush their teeth together, shower and pick out clothes, eat warm oatmeal (with blueberries for Mama, bananas for the girl). They do their hair, don galoshes, and explore the rain-slicked world outside. When it’s bedtime, the girl is tucked in by Mama and relaxes into the cozy dark, thinking of all the little moments that made her simple day with Mama so special.

Absolutely lovely. This sweet slice-of-life tale is as beautiful visually as it is in prose, both taking the everyday moments between loved ones and exalting them with artistic flair. Cozbi’s text reads with the guileless voice of a child, and makes humble moments that most readers can connect to feel meditative and sublime. The acrylic artwork is equally stunning, capturing the atmosphere of a cloudy day or the details of oatmeal warming on a kitchen stove in a way that celebrates their perhaps-overlooked beauty. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ and I loved this one; while there are plenty of books that celebrate mother-daughter relationships, this one felt uniquely grounded in the reality of how those relationships look on an average day. An absolute beauty, and a must-read. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Why a Daughter Needs a Mom (Gregory E. Lang)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Why a Daughter Needs a Mom, written by Gregory E. Lang and illustrated by Sydney Hanson, an ode to the special relationship between mothers and daughters.

Adapted from Lang’s adult-oriented gift book of the same name, this version combines Hanson’s adorable animal illustrations with sugary-sweet rhyming text that explores all the things moms give their daughters. From a shoulder to cry on to a warm hug, a sense of humor to a sense of style, these word of encouragement and advice show that moms love nothing more than to help their daughters be the best and happiest versions on themselves.

Cute yet bland. Contrary to the title, the text is less examples of why a daughter needs a mom and more a list of life advice for young ones. Yet while the lessons themselves are well-written and occasionally quite touching, nothing other than pronoun choices make them specific to the relationship between mothers and daughters; indeed, values like perseverance, empathy, and patience should be taught by any-gender parents to any-gender children. For this reason, the book feels less like it’s aimed at young bookworms and more like it was written for moms (still, there’s also something slightly off about a book being narrated from the first-person perspective of a mother to her child being written by a man). Hanson’s heartwarming illustrations are the standout, and her adorable parent-child creatures were definitely the main draw for us. Otherwise, the length was fine, and JJ liked the art a lot. Overall, a little disappointing but not bad, and we can still call it Baby Bookworm approved.