A story of mother and daughter, their day-to-day life in a small Malaysian village, and the love they have for each other.
“Little Aleeya and her dear mommy—Mommy sayang,” spend their days in their kampung (small village), making everyday tasks fun together. Whether it is during prayer (when her mother wears a telekung), doing chores, or spending time with family and friends, Aleeya and Mommy are always side by side. Even in Aleeya’s dreams they spend time together, eating curry puffs in the shade of red hibiscus flowers. But when Mommy gets sick, the little girl must comfort herself and try to think of a way to make Mommy feel better. This autobiographical picture book, a debut from Pixar artist Sullivan, celebrates the vibrancy of life in a small Malaysian village. The all-Malaysian cast evinces differences in skin tone and facial features; Aleeya’s mother and aunties wear tudung/hijab, with long tops and pants, skirts, sarongs, and abayas, while two men wear the traditional kopiah, a truncated cone cap. Aleeya has curly black hair and wears a sleeveless red romper. In one poignant scene she clutches her mother’s sarong and weeps; her joy in another, at seeing her mother recovering in bed, in a T-shirt and with hair uncovered, is palpable. Since Mommy’s illness is never specified, this is a gentle vehicle to introduce many kinds of parent-child separations.
A simple but welcome addition to a small, but growing, number of books depicting Southeast Asian Muslims. (Picture book. 3-6)