Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is the heartwarming debut picture book from Printz Award-winning author Nina LaCour (We Are Okay) about a girl who misses her mommy while she's on a work trip.
For the young protagonist, the perfect spot can always be found right in between Mama and Mommy. But when Mommy leaves for a work trip, the girl can't get comfortable. As the days go by, she goes to school, runs errands and watches movies with her Mama. The two even video chat with Mommy but the girl is too sad--she misses Mommy "as deep as a scuba diver down in the ocean." On one of their walks to school, the girl shares an idea with Mama for a welcome-home surprise for Mommy. When Mommy finally returns, though, the little girl's joy is soured by the memory of missing her throughout the week.
Accompanying LaCour's comforting text is the cozy art of Stonewall Award-winning illustrator Kaylani Juanita (When Aiden Became a Brother). Juanita's distinctive mixed-media illustrations match and reflect LaCour's writing style, with comforting soft colors, realistic figures and tons of details. The artist visually connects the characters to each other through the girl: her hair, worn up in a puff that matches fair-skinned Mama's bun, has a white patch in the front that's twisted with a bead, just like Mommy, who's Black. LaCour's representation of a two-mom family in Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle allows young readers, regardless of the gender of their parents, to relate to this sentimental, delightful story. --Natasha Harris, freelance reviewer