Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour

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Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour
Publisher: Candlewick
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), LGBTQ, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A little girl stays home with Mama when Mommy goes off on a work trip in this tender, inviting story that will resonate with every child who has missed a parent.

For one little girl, there’s no place she’d rather be than sitting between Mama and Mommy. So when Mommy goes away on a work trip, it’s tricky to find a good place at the table. As the days go by, Mama brings her to the library, they watch movies, and all of them talk on the phone, but she still misses Mommy as deep as the ocean and as high as an astronaut up in the stars. As they pass by a beautiful garden, the girl gets an idea . . . but when Mommy finally comes home, it takes a minute to shake off the empty feeling she felt all week before leaning in for a kiss. Michael L. Printz Award winner Nina LaCour thoughtfully renders a familiar, touching story of a child who misses a parent, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, whose distinctive style brings charm and playfulness to this delightful family of three.

It’s never fun to be left behind.

One of my favorite scenes happened early on when the main character was in a classroom setting and mentioned missing her Mommy. The details might differ a little from one family to the next, but everyone misses someone they love at one point or another. Seeing how the teacher and her classmates responded to her was heartwarming. I couldn’t have imagined a better response to her admission that she was having a hard time.

The only thing I wish had been written differently in this tale was the ending. There were so many touching scenes earlier on in the plot that I was a bit surprised by how quickly it was all wrapped up. It would have been nice to have an extra scene or two at the end where the girl talked about her week at home with Mama and heard what Mommy had been up to during her business trip as well.

This was a gentle, honest exploration of how a young girl dealt with going through her normal daily routines while her Mommy was away. It’s hard for a little one to be separated from a parent even if it’s temporary and for a good reason. I thought it was lovely that she felt comfortable sharing her feelings with her Mama, her teacher, and the many other supportive people in her life. That is an excellent way to deal with difficult feelings, and it made me eager to recommend this.

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle was a wonderful read.

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