ME & MAMA by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Last month, ALA awarded ME & MAMA, written and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera, a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor. I’m so excited to share this lovely title on PBB today! (Fyi – Cozbi also won a Coretta Scott King Honor and Sibert Honor for EXQUISITE this year. Wow!)

ME & MAMA is gorgeous picture book filled with tender moments of a mother and daughter spending a rainy day together.

School Library Journal gave the book a starred review, and this stirring summary:

“A young Black girl enjoys a rainy day alone with her mother, savoring each ordinary moment for the joyful expression of love it represents…the muted color palette and painterly style of the art evoke a cozy sense of security. While realistically portrayed, each image has a soft, dreamlike quality that also highlights the timelessness of the story. VERDICT A strong portrait of familial connection, this title captures the essence of unconditional love between parent and child, and is recommended for all picture book collections.”

The multi-award winner, multi-talented Cozbi agreed to share a little bit about ME & MAMA which contains many delightful mother-daughter scenes. Knowing that Cozbi has a daughter (and being the curious sort), I asked Cozbi if any scene or event in the book has special meaning to her personally. She kindly replied:

When my daughter was three, she attempted to get me a drink of water in my favorite cup.

It slid off the narrow edge of the water cooler and went tumbling onto the ceramic kitchen tile and shattered into several pieces. I saved those pieces and shards, beautiful still, even in this form.

My impulse was to paint them. Later, I loosely collected these many string of moments that tell how the days are long and the years short.

This was an ode to the everyday.

My initial thought was to trace the tender bond between mother and daughter through their everyday objects. There’s a lot you can infer about people from their items that are tethered to utility. I was going to show very little of this mother and daughter, maybe just a spread or two. I was encouraged by the editor to show a little more.

I love this last spread in the book because I “show them, without showing them.”

Thanks for joining us Cozbi!

And hot-off-the-press: Cozbi has another book in the works which will celebrate the bond between father and child titled ME & PAPA!

Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the author of more than 100 books. A mechanical engineer by degree, she enjoys writing about science topics and fascinating historical figures. Recent books include: SWISH! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, The Daring Dozen, Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon, Astronaut Annie, Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story, Dangerous Jane, The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, The Inventor’s Secret, and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Coming soon -- MARS IS, JUNE ALMEIDA VIRUS DETECTIVE! THE WOMAN WHO DISCOVERED THE FIRST HUMAN CORONAVIRUS, THE UNIVERSE AND YOU, and TBA titles from Calkins Creek, Peachtree, and Random House. Learn more about Suzanne and her books at:


  1. Looks like a lovely book. Thanks for sharing

  2. Debra Kempf Shumaker

    I love this book! It’s so beautiful and heartwarming.

  3. Wonderful book. Congrats Cozbi and looking forward to your upcoming book!

  4. Beyond lovely…a treasure of a book!

  5. So lovely! The ordinary moments making up an extraordinary life. Congratulations Cozbi!!

  6. I love the color palette of the illustrations. Beautiful way to capture those special fleeting moments.

  7. Warm and so sweet! Thanks for telling us the inspiration for your story.

  8. Such a cute cover – love the artwork!

  9. Jilanne F Hoffmann

    So much for quiet books being “dead.” This looks and sounds lovely.

  10. Congratulations, Cozbi!! I love the muted color palette.

  11. This is beautiful! Thanks for the peek, Suzanne. I look forward to seeing more!

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