My Mother Was a Nanny

My Mother Was a Nanny

Written by: James, Laura
Illustrated by: James, Laura
ages 3 and up / grades P and up

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.

 

Key Text Features

dialogue

illustrations

 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

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.

 

Key Text Features

dialogue

illustrations

 

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Sep 5, 2023
Specifications 32 pages | 9.125 in x 8 in
Written By

LAURA JAMES is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose African- and Caribbean-American heritage and love of color, design and story inform her work. This book was inspired by her mother, a homemaker, nanny and domestic worker, along with Laura’s paintings in the Nanny Series. Her art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, textbooks and film, and the picture books Anna Carries Water and Boonoonoonous Hair! both by Olive Senior. Laura lives in the Bronx, New York.

Illustrated by

LAURA JAMES is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose African- and Caribbean-American heritage and love of color, design and story inform her work. This book was inspired by her mother, a homemaker, nanny and domestic worker, along with Laura’s paintings in the Nanny Series. Her art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, textbooks and film, and the picture books Anna Carries Water and Boonoonoonous Hair! both by Olive Senior. Laura lives in the Bronx, New York.

Written By

LAURA JAMES is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose African- and Caribbean-American heritage and love of color, design and story inform her work. This book was inspired by her mother, a homemaker, nanny and domestic worker, along with Laura’s paintings in the Nanny Series. Her art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, textbooks and film, and the picture books Anna Carries Water and Boonoonoonous Hair! both by Olive Senior. Laura lives in the Bronx, New York.

Illustrated by

LAURA JAMES is a self-taught painter and illustrator whose African- and Caribbean-American heritage and love of color, design and story inform her work. This book was inspired by her mother, a homemaker, nanny and domestic worker, along with Laura’s paintings in the Nanny Series. Her art has appeared in many solo and group exhibitions, textbooks and film, and the picture books Anna Carries Water and Boonoonoonous Hair! both by Olive Senior. Laura lives in the Bronx, New York.

Audience ages 3 and up / grades P and up
Key Text Features

dialogue,illustrations

Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

A unique and loving portrait of a close-knit family.

” —Kirkus

Beautifully crafted book … A kind reminder that even the busiest of parents can remember and care deeply about their own families.

” —Booklist

This heartfelt narrative is highly recommended, offering a touching glimpse into the extraordinary love and dedication that define the unique relationship between a daughter and her mother.

” —Children's Literature Comprehensive Database