cover image Help Mom Work from Home!

Help Mom Work from Home!

Diana Murray, illus. by Cori Doerrfeld. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-27365-7

A well-meaning brown-skinned toddler attempts to help their light-skinned mother work from home in this rhyming how-to by Murray. As the brown-skinned father whisks a younger child off, Mom settles in for a day of work on the couch before transitioning to a desk. At every step, the older child is there to assist, doing Mom’s hair, spreading toys across the floor, and chatting on a fake phone as their mother, wearing a headset, frantically attempts to shush them. In one memorable spread, the child thrusts the family cat onto the mother’s desk, offering “an assistant.” Employing digital chalk art, Doerrfeld offers countless details: laptop stickers, a conference call on-screen, and childlike artwork and signs (“Shhhh! Qwiet”). While this title feels more geared toward a sympathetic adult audience than to kids, it will especially resonate with guardians balancing pandemic-era remote work with childcare. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)