Your Mama

by Nonieqa Ramos (Author) Jacqueline Alcántara (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
A sweet twist on the age-old "yo mama" joke, celebrating fierce moms everywhere with playful lyricism and gorgeous illustrations. Perfect for Mother's Day. Yo' mama so sweet, she could be a bakery. She dresses so fine, she could have a clothing line. And, even when you mess up, she's so forgiving, she lets you keep on living. Heartwarming and richly imagined, Your Mama twists an old joke into a point of pride that honors the love, hard work, and dedication of mamas everywhere.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
★ "A lyrical, spirited picture book that takes the old 'yo' mama' joke and cracks, snaps, and pops it into an ode to motherhood. Using a vibrant tattoo motif, colorful, joy-infused artwork, and playful, melodic words, Ramos and Alcántara's winning picture book celebrates motherhood at its most inspirational.... Ramos conjures jubilant scene after scene with deft language and sprinkles of Spanish, and this tale's more sublime moments ('Your Mama a Brainiac--mo' betta than any app') simply shine. Similarly, Alcántara's art represents motherhood as a model of ideals and mind spun for modern times, both indebted to and limited by the specific type of mother of color depicted here. Overall, it's a celebration that's invaluable and needed." -Kirkus, STARRED review

Booklist

Starred Review
★ "This snappy tribute celebrates the fierce awesomeness of sweet, strong, funny, woke, brainiac mamas. Using rhythmic stanzas that swing...the bright, vibrant illustrations, with text in a playful retro-tattoo style, pop off the pages....This joyous celebration makes a perfect read-aloud for Mother's Day--and every day." -Booklist, STARRED review

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--In a glowing tribute to mothers, here is one hip parent who spends quality time with her child. Illustrated banners throughout the tale begin with the words "Your Mama" and continue with a description which is pictured on the pages, such as, "Your Mama So Sweet," "Your Mama So Strong," and "Your Mama So Funny." The rhythmic text is lively while vibrant, detailed illustrations reveal the many activities mother and daughter share, such as baking, road trips, birthday parties, and singing along with the car radio. "She got friends at work, at church, around the 'hood. Life is good." English text with a smattering of Spanish words fit with the illustrations of a brown-skinned Latinx mother and young daughter. This mama brings verve to everything she does, whether sewing costumes for her child, attending Parents' Night at school dressed in a flowing orange dress, or taking her girl to the library. With long, wavy black hair; large gold hoop earrings; and heeled knee-high boots decorated with red roses; this mama has as much energy as her child. VERDICT An essential purchase, this contemporary, high-spirited salute to motherhood is a warm and welcoming valentine to family and love.--Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek P.L., WI

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Ramos reconfigures a well-known joke format into an uplifting, rhythmic exultation of motherhood in this bouncy debut. "Your mama so sweet, she could be a bakery, / all frosting, powdered sugar, and pastries," opens Ramos. The first line appears in a banner on a verso page, before smoothly incorporating Spanish on the recto: "Leaves love notes in your almuerzo, homemade./ She's the cinnamon to your tembleque, / the tres leches to your cake." Vivacious spreads by Alcantára depict a majority cast of color, centering a dynamic mother and child with light brown skin and long dark waves who attend school parent night hand-in-hand ("Your mama dress so fine"), take stacks of books to the library checkout ("Your mama a brainiac"), and "with posters homemade," attend rallies for justice ("Your mama so woke"). Parents and children alike will appreciate this thoroughly contemporary portrait of familial love. Ages 4-7. (Apr.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

★"Your Mama is an exuberant ode to supermoms everywhere...Alcántara's illustrations are as lively as Ramos' text...Humor and happiness fill every page...Your Mama hits the perfect note of sweetness." -BookPage
Nonieqa Ramos
NoNieqa Ramos is an educator who wrote The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection and an In the Margins Award Top Ten pick. Her debut picture book, Your Mama, earned three starred reviews. She is a proud member of Las Musas, the Soaring 20s, and PB Debut Troupe 21. She lives in Virginia with her family. nonieqaramos.com Twitter: @nonieqaramos Instagram: @nonieqa.ramos

Jacqueline Alcántara is a freelance illustrator and artist whose books include The Field, written by Baptiste Paul and Freedom Soup, written by Tami Charles. Jacqueline lives in Detroit, Michigan. jacquelinealcantara.com Twitter: @_jacqueline_ill Instagram: @jacqueline_alcantara
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781328631886
Lexile Measure
N/A
Guided Reading Level
N/A
Publisher
Versify
Publication date
April 20, 2021
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV013060 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Parents
JUV014000 - Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
JUV070000 - Juvenile Fiction | Poetry (see also Stories in Verse)
JUV074000 - Juvenile Fiction | Diversity & Multicultural
JUV017150 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Mother's Day
Library of Congress categories
Stories in rhyme
Mothers

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