cover image Me & Mama

Me & Mama

Cozbi A. Cabrera. S&S/Millner, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-5421-7

Told from a first-person point of view, this quietly engaging picture book unfolds on a rainy morning, with a Black girl who “want[s] to/ be everywhere Mama is.” Waking up before Papa and younger sibling Luca, the girl narrates aspects of the mother and daughter’s morning routine (“A shower is warm rain that gets you going”), comparing their respective cups and toothbrushes, oatmeal with toppings, and rain boots. Sensory details, fittingly tangential childlike observations, and familial dialogue make the narrative feel immediate and genuine (“I don’t like the bumblebee barrette, I say..../ She knows I mean just today”). Cabrera’s striking acrylic visuals recall painters such as Jordan Casteel and Maira Kalman. While a few of the girl’s lines feel nebulously philosophical (“Some things don’t let go. But for what?/ The stores are boxes filled with people”), the narrative offers an elegant testament to the love-filled bonds between child and parent. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)