Various mothers and children have parallel experiences throughout their days.
Skrypuch treads familiar ground—separation anxiety is a major aspect of childhood development. But this tale isn’t full of tantrums or tears; instead, the kids in these families are shining examples of confidence and security. When one mother/child pair is separated, and a slight worry creeps in, the boy, bedecked in red-rimmed glasses, explains, “When Mama goes to work, / I know she misses me. / But she talks with friends / and thinks of me. / She knows that she’ll be back.” Likewise, he talks with his friends and thinks of his mother at the same time. Another girl hides a surprise in her mom’s lunch; her mom does the same for her. At noon, they both think of each other. The repetitious nature and parallel storytelling structure of each mother and child’s experiences can seem plodding, but it will likely be comforting to young worriers. Skrypuch follows only four families, but the variety of ethnicities and careers included is commendable, though it’s a darn shame that in 2014, the narrative focus is still exclusively on mothers. Sunny, cartoonlike illustrations add to the cheer (disregard the slightly creepy toothy smiles of some).
Spare in both text and art, earnest in heart, limited in scope. (Picture book. 2-6)