How Mamas Love Their Babies

Juniper Fitzgerald, illus. by Elise Peterson. Feminist, $16.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-93693-200-9
First-time author Fitzgerald writes about the work mothers do to care for their children and support them economically—work that is often unseen or ignored. Peterson’s smart, sly collages use patterned paper and scrawled-on color accents to embellish vintage b&w photos of women and children. The mothers are black, brown, and white, heavy and skinny, urban and rural; they cook, fly planes, and sell ice cream. Fitzgerald writes simply, but in combination with Peterson’s images, her words carry force: “Mamas use their bodies to care for their babies in so many ways,” she writes, next to a photograph of a mother nursing a toddler. She also makes a case for the acceptance of women’s work that has been censured or subject to taboo. “Some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work,” she writes, gently introducing a sex worker mother amid images of stiletto heels, the neon signage of an adult entertainment store, and a photograph of a worker on strike, her placard reading, “Unfair to Strippers.” It’s a political statement, but one that flows from passion and love. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2017
Release date: 02/13/2018
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