Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

by Nina Lacour (Author) Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

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.

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Kirkus Reviews

A tender tale featuring a loving two-mom family that will resonate with any child who has ever missed a loved one.


Starred Review
A joyful and inclusive book that's just what's needed for children whose parents have to be away for a period.

Review quotes

Filled to the brim with love. Juanita's mixed-media illustrations—a combination of spot art and full-bleed spreads—vividly capture the coziness of the family's life and the range of emotions the child experiences. . . A tender tale featuring a loving two-mom family that will resonate with any child who has ever missed a loved one.

—Kirkus Reviews

Award-winning YA author Nina LaCour makes her picture book debut in this beautiful, LGBTQ+ affirming picture book about a little girl who misses her mommy when she leaves on a work trip. . . . Kaylani Juanita's sweet, pastel-toned illustrations perfectly capture this cozy and lovely family. This is a perfect book for any family with a parent who travels for work.

—Book Riot
Nina Lacour
Nina LaCour is the bestselling and award-winning author of the acclaimed young adult novels We Are Okay, which received the Printz Award and was selected by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Best YA Books of All Time, Hold Still, The Disenchantments, and Everything Leads to You, as well as the adult novel Yerba Buena. Born and raised in the East Bay, LaCour crossed the bridge to receive her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University and then crossed back to Oakland to receive an MFA in Creative Writing at Mills College. She now lives in San Francisco with her wife and their daughter.

Sònia Albert worked in a comic studio for several years before pursuing her MA in Children's Book Illustration from the Cambridge School of Art. She loves to tell stories and enjoys experimenting with different media. She has illustrated many children's books for publishers in the United Kingdom and Europe. Born in Barcelona, she currently lives in Mataró, Spain.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
March 29, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
JUV060000 - Juvenile Fiction | LGBT
Library of Congress categories

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