cover image My Mommy Medicine

My Mommy Medicine

Edwidge Danticat, illus. by Shannon Wright. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-250-14091-3

The narrator, a brown-skinned girl, defines “Mommy Medicine” as a special brand of TLC—a combination of pampering and playfulness that her mother offers “whenever I am sick or just feel kind of gloomy or sad.” Mommy’s indomitable energy and toolkit of healing techniques are something to behold: she can plant “a kiss so loud it reminds me of a French horn at Mardi Gras,” deliver a rousing medley, give her all in a session of pretend play, or just sit quietly with her daughter “watching my ceiling’s glow-in-the-dark stars flicker, making our own sky.” Heartfelt prose by adult author Danticat can seem more like an adult’s recollection than a child’s impression (“Sometimes it’s a whispered prayer, just before nodding off at nap time”), but the vignettes are full of glad familial love. Wright, an illustrator and cartoonist making her picture book debut, supplies largely realistic scenes in a poignant home-video style. Together, they leave no doubt about how good it feels to be the total center of attention—even when there’s “actual” yucky medicine involved. Ages 3–6. [em](Feb.) [/em]