cover image Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation

Edwidge Danticat, illus. by Leslie Staub. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42809-1

Danticat tells a serious yet hopeful story about a child whose Haitian mother is in an immigration detention center. Saya, whose hair is done up in tight braids with beads, visits her mother weekly but misses her terribly; she finds comfort in the bedtime stories her mother records on cassette tapes and sends her. Staub’s oil paintings temper the upsetting circumstances with bright colors and whimsical objects from the stories Saya’s mother tells, including winged hearts, dolphins, and mermaids. When Saya writes her own story and her father sends it to a journalist, the resulting chain of events brings Saya’s mother home. Readers similarly separated from a loved one may well find solace in Danticat’s honest storytelling. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Nicole Aragi, Aragi Inc. Illustrator’s agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Sept.)