Just like mom
By Meiha Maxwell
Illustrated by Sujata Saha
What an endearing story about a little girl named Laila who wants to be just like her mom!
Illustrated in beautiful black and white imagery, the reader is engaged with Laila who mimics everything her mother does. The book focuses on the wonderful role that mothers play in their daughters' lives. Specifically, Laila’s mother understands that her actions matter, as her daughter is carefully watching and copying everything she does.
The book also highlights the importance of fathers' presence and encouragement to provide the foundation of self-love, self-validation, and self-esteem for their daughters.
This book is a quick and delightful read. But don't let its brevity fool you. Its content is rich and filled with deep psychological concepts from self-love, self-acceptance, beauty norms, gender identity, and family dynamics. This story could be used to spark some very interesting discussions with young girls. For example, this book teaches subtly the importance of hygiene (e.g. brushing teeth, having a cosmetic case),
Black hair care and femininity (e.g. wearing a hair bonnet, lipstick, or lip gloss), and
punctuality (getting up on time for school, using an alarm clock).
We (Olivia Lauren John and I, Melissa-Sue John) enjoyed it very much for its creativity and for filling a void in diverse literature. We recommend it for beginner readers aged 2 to 6.