Media Reviews: Books for Kids

Maria Nar
The Best Mother

The Best Mother by Cynthia Surrisi

Maxine is tired of her mother’s routine and rules, so she decides to find a new mother, with a little help from her current one. Together, Maxine and her mother travel throughout the city looking for a mom who won’t make Maxine pick up all her toys and will let her bang a drum any time she wants—which is easier said than done. It can be hard for a child to see why rules and routines exist, but ultimately this short and sweet picture book teaches that rules are a way for mothers to show how much they care. FOR AGES 0-8

Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat’s Foster Mom by Suzi Eszterhas

When 2-week-old Moto the wildcat was picked up by a group of well-intended tourists who believed him to be in harm’s way and took him far from his mother to the nearest ranger station, wildlife photographer and conservationist Suzi Eszerhas knew she wanted to help. This inspiring true story of an unlikely relationship is beautifully photographed, sprinkled with facts about wildcats, and will leave readers with a tear in their eye as they reach the bittersweet moment when the two must say goodbye. FOR AGES 0-8

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

Everyone in Stella’s class is excited for the Mother’s Day celebration, but Stella is worried. She may not have a mother to bring to the celebration but she does have two dads, a Nonna, an Uncle Bruno, an Aunt Gloria and a cousin Lucy. Stella decides to bring the whole family and celebrates the occasion by appreciating the unique community of caregivers who have supported and cared for her. FOR AGES 3-8

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Priyanka knows her mother grew up in India and her absent father still lives there, but when Priyanka starts asking questions about her mother’s past, her mom changes the subject. When Priyanka discovers a mysterious scarf in her mother’s closet that allows her to travel to India and explore beautiful new places, she has even more questions, including why her mother left. As pieces of her mother’s past are unearthed, Priyanka gains a new appreciation of her world—and her mother. Unique illustrations and seamless integration of Hindi language make this graphic novel a joy to read. FOR AGES 9-12

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

Olga and Julia could not be more different, and their mother reminds Julia of this often—especially after Olga dies in a tragic accident. Julia feels like an outsider until she stumbles upon a cryptic note in Olga’s room and connects with relatives who explain her mother’s painful past. Julia begins to realize that she has more in common with her family than she once thought. This is a moving narrative that effortlessly weaves themes of family, romantic relationships and mental health into a relatable coming-of-age tale. FOR TEENS



This free, all-ages app takes your family appointments, activities, grocery lists and to-do lists and wraps them up into a beautiful user experience. Parents will love the customization that allows them to create recurring tasks and assign them to specific family members, while children will enjoy the system that allows them to collect points by completing tasks and working toward rewards.

Maria Nar is an information services specialist at the Driving Park Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.