My Mother Was a Nanny
A girl longs for her mother’s attention. But Mummy is always busy helping everyone else and their children!
Day by day, the narrator recalls what it was like growing up with her mother, who was a nanny, as well as a friend, baker, maker, teacher, cleaner and more. As the youngest in her family, the girl stayed home and helped amuse the children her mother looked after. She went along on trips to the Caribbean greengrocer in their Brooklyn neighborhood, where her mother would almost always forget to buy her favorite fruit. She eavesdropped on her mother’s conversations, waiting for her turn to talk, only to be shooed away. She even accompanied her mother on office-cleaning expeditions on Saturdays. Mummy seldom had a moment to spare.
But looking back on a special surprise one Easter Sunday, the narrator realizes that her mother was always thinking about her own children, in spite of the demands of her domestic work and the central role she played in her community.
Based on Laura James’ childhood in Brooklyn, and accompanied by her gorgeous, vibrant illustrations, this simple story is a moving reflection of race, class and labor in North America, including the Caribbean.
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