Mama's Daycare

Mama and Nene

Children - Grade K-3rd
44 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Mama's Daycare (Mama and Nene), written by Ngozi Edema and illustrated by Swapan Debnath, is a cute, colorful children's book about a little girl named Nene, who is getting ready for her first day of school. She is very close to her mom and loves cuddling with her baby doll, Rosie. Nene loves her mom more than anything. Nene is looking forward to school and wants to make sure she has everything she needs, like supplies. She seems all ready except for one thing: What will her mom do without her when she goes off to school? They're so used to being together. What follows is an imaginative story about Nene's fantasy of her mom going to a mommy daycare right across the street from her school, so they can still be in close proximity to each other. The little girl further imagines all the things her mom will do at her mommy daycare, like going to the gym, reading books, and other things. Nene realizes that on the days she doesn't go to school, she and her mom can still do fun things together.

Edema has created a charming book that both mothers and children can enjoy. The illustrations are bright and inviting, and match the story perfectly. This story appeals to the universal feelings most mothers and little girls have about the first day of school, and although this subject has been written about many times, this author takes the topic in a slightly different direction with an amusing but sweet angle that is unpredictable, but a nice surprise. I like that both Nene's and her mom's emotions are explored, not just one of them. There is a little melancholy, but all ends well and on a positive note. The illustrator brings the characters to life in a warm way that accentuates the text. Mama's Daycare (Mama and Nene) by Ngozi Edema is just the right book for mothers and daughters to read together before the first day of school.

Jack Magnus

Mama's Daycare: Mama and Nene is a children’s educational picture book written by Ngozi Edema and illustrated by Swapan Debnath. Nene is so excited that it’s finally time for her to go to kindergarten. She's checked and double-checked everything in her pack to make sure she’s prepared for that first day. But, as the day approaches, she begins to wonder about her mom. Nene has always been there to keep her mom company -- will Mama be lonely when she’s on her own? Then she had the best idea! Mama’s Daycare was directly across the street from the school she would be attending. Nene could simply take her mom to Mama’s Daycare, and everything would be fine. There were so many things that could keep her mom busy while she was in school -- and on the weekends, they would be together again.

Ngozi Edema’s Mama's Daycare: Mama and Nene is a marvelous way to broach the subject of the first day of kindergarten with young readers. Nene’s confidence in her own first day and concern over her mom should be inspirational for kids who are approaching the first day of school with a bit of dread. Swapan Debnath’s illustrations are marvelous! I loved the autumnal palette she employs to make the season feel like it’s almost here. Her panels showing Mama’s activities at her Daycare work so well with the original premise of the story. Mama's Daycare: Mama and Nene is most highly recommended.

Bruce Arrington

Mama's Daycare (Mama and Nene) by Ngozi Edema is a 24-page long children’s story about Nene, a child ready for her first day of school. She’s organized and super excited about a new adventure. But unlike most youngsters her age, Nene’s attention focuses on her mother. What would she do when she was by herself? Who would be with her to help her? Ideas come to Nene’s mind, thinking of things that would make her mother happy during her time away. That way, her mother would have her own daycare. The computer-generated art is colorful and detailed, fully supporting the story. I liked the way the author turned the story on its ear—instead of the child all stressed out about school and self-absorbed in her own life, she unselfishly focuses her attention on her mother, someone so very important to her. She knows her mother will miss her desperately at soon as she starts her new school. But in scheduling her activities, Nene knows that her mother will be all right.

I think this would be an excellent sit down read between mother and daughter. It not only showcases the potential stresses of Nene, but it also highlights what parents often go through when they must release their child for the first time: the loneliness and the emptiness they feel when they have to let go. Mama's Daycare (Mama and Nene) by Ngozi Edema is a wonderful relationship builder between a mother and daughter and will definitely be a favorite for many young readers. Highly recommended.