Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle
By Diondra Brown,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Loving, warm picture book about missing a traveling parent.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle shows children how to positively pass time when they're missing a loved one's presence, and how to express their emotions. The book labels and illustrates several unique flowers and plants, such as aster, foxgloves, and yarrow, which may be new to children. Similes appear on some pages of the story, such as "I miss her as deep as a scuba diver in the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars."
It's OK to miss people you love when they are away from home. Every family is beautiful and has special routines. It's important to let people know how much you love them by showing them and telling them.
Positive Role Models
Mama helps her daughter cope with missing Mommy by filling their week with special moments and predictable routines. Mommy is a hardworking mother who balances working and expressing her love to her family. The daughter loves her parents and is able to express her emotions.
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle has many diverse representations. The book highlights an LGBTQ+ family with two mothers. The family lives in a diverse neighborhood, with characters of different ages, skin tones, sizes, and abilities (one girl uses a neck brace). Mommy and her daughter both have light birthmarks on their forehead, that extend into their hair.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is a colorful picture book by award-winning young adult author Nina LaCour (We Are Okay) and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration). The story focuses on a young girl with two mothers, who greatly misses one when she goes on a work trip for a week. The sweet story, narrated from the daughter's perspective, includes social emotional learning lessons for readers, as it shows examples of displaying and expressing emotions. The book highlights a diverse group of characters.
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
MAMA AND MOMMY AND ME IN THE MIDDLE shares the story of a little girl who loves nothing more than being in the middle of her Mommy and Mama, but feels empty feelings when Mommy goes on a work trip. Mama attempts to fill the week with routine outings like trips to the grocery store and attending school, as well as special things like an outdoor movie night. The girl learns that she's not the only kid at school with a loved one who isn't able to be home. These things are a great distraction, but she still feels sad, and expresses how much she misses her Mommy during phone calls. She prepares a special gift for her Mommy when she returns, but how will she feel when she finally sees her?
Is It Any Good?
This is a bright, sentimental, and relatable story for any child who's missed a loved one when they were far away from home. Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is filled with love and inclusivity. Illustrator Kyalani Juanita's beautifully toned and distinctive mixed-media images capture readers' attention. The book's inclusion of similes helps to define the characters' feelings for a young audience. This is a nice read for children who need to know that they aren't alone with their emotions of sadness when they're apart from someone they love.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the three people who make up the central family in Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle. Who's in your family? How is your family the same, or different from the family in the book?
Mommy works in Minnesota for a week, while her family is in California. Those states are far away from each other. Does anyone in your family sometimes live or work far away from your home? How do you feel when they're gone?
How would you pass the time if your parent was away from home for a week? How you welcome them back home?
- Author: Nina LaCour
- Illustrator: Kaylani Juanita
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publication date: March 29, 2022
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: April 12, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
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