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!