age range: 4-7 years
theme / form: a celebration of mothers and daughters; picture book
NoNieqa Ramos’s website
Please tell us about your book.
As a PB and YA author, the process of being reviewed can be an emotional roller coaster! When a review comes in that speaks to the heart of your project, you have to savor it and celebrate. I am so proud of my starred review from School Library Journal, and I will share what they had to say about my picture book debut, YOUR MAMA (April 6, 2021), here:
“In a glowing tribute to mothers, here is one hip parent who spends quality time with her child. Illustrated banners throughout the tale begin with the words “Your Mama” and continue with a description which is pictured on the pages, such as, “Your Mama So Sweet,” “Your Mama So Strong,” and “Your Mama So Funny.” The rhythmic text is lively while vibrant, detailed illustrations reveal the many activities mother and daughter share, such as baking, road trips, birthday parties, and singing along with the car radio. “She got friends at work, at church, around the ‘hood. Life is good.” English text with a smattering of Spanish words fit with the illustrations of a brown-skinned Latinx mother and young daughter. This mama brings verve to everything she does, whether sewing costumes for her child, attending Parents’ Night at school dressed in a flowing orange dress, or taking her girl to the library. With long, wavy black hair; large gold hoop earrings; and heeled knee-high boots decorated with red roses; this mama has as much energy as her child.
An essential purchase, this contemporary, high-spirited salute to motherhood is a warm and welcoming valentine to family and love.”
What inspired you to write this story?
I wanted to celebrate the relationship of mamas and their daughters, and in particular, shine a loving light on Latinx mamas and women who are severely underrepresented in literature and media. This picture book is a love letter from a Puerto Rican daughter to her mama, shouting out her mother’s sweetness, kindness, humor, resilience, and strength.
How can a teacher use your book in the classroom?
Brilliant illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara, our publisher Versify, and I collaborated to create an educator’s guide, which will be available on my website www.nonieqaramos.com in the coming weeks. This guide has a poetry lesson on writing rhythmic verse and a coloring page. Educators can center books like YOUR MAMA around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and during Women’s History Month to discuss the powerful force mothers, and specifically Latinx women, have been in history, the arts, and music. Children can write their own love letters and odes to their mamas, tias, abuelitas, madrinas, and any special woman in their lives.
I’m an educator with over fifteen years of teaching experience, so I Iove getting back into the classroom! Teachers can invite me to their schools virtually to do book talks and writing workshops for all ages!
Who are some powerful women in the Latinx community you’d like to shout out?
I’d like to celebrate Aida Salazar, award-winning author of THE MOON WITHIN and LAND OF THE CRANES. She is one of the original creators of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors to come together to support and amplify each other’s debut or sophomore novels in US children’s literature. Her arts activism includes her #PeriodAwareness and #PeriodJustice initiative for #WomansHerstoryMonth. Please follow @aida_writes and @latinxluna on Twitter and Instagram to decolonize and celebrate our wombs and our menstruations with stories and community. Check out Las Musas for a plethora of powerful Latinx leaders and creators https://www.lasmusasbooks.com/!