[Monday Reading] Celebrating Black and Brown Mothers’ Dreams For Their Daughters in 2021 Picturebooks


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date).


For 2022, our reading theme is #DecolonizeBookshelves2022. Essentially, we hope to feature books that fit any of the following criteria:

  1. Postcolonial literature and/or [pre/post] revolutionary stories
  2. Stories by indigenous / first-nation peoples / people of colour
  3. Narratives of survival and healing, exile and migration, displacement and dispossession
  4. Books written or illustrated by people who have been colonized, oppressed, marginalized

Last week, I featured Black and Brown fathers who speak love, truth, and legacy – so I thought it would be good to follow that through with Black and Brown mothers and daughters this week with picturebooks published in 2021.

Dreams For A Daughter (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by Carole Boston Weatherford Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Published by Atheneum Books For Young Readers (2021)
ISBN: 1534451986 (ISBN13: 9781534451988) Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

As the title indicates, this is a mother’s letter or prayer for her daughter beginning from the time she was born. I like how the mother in this narrative is able to glean her own child’s ancestry and history through her eyes: conveying rootedness, continuity, and legacy all at once.

I love the image above – with the implicit recognition that challenges are inevitable, yet foremost is the prayer that “nothing and no one will ever break your spirit.”

The mother’s dreams are stitched with all the tools needed for the child to live in this world: the desire to learn and grow from one’s mistakes, the willingness to tread one’s path, and to be fearless in speaking one’s own truth.

I find myself gravitating towards inspirational, light-hearted, and hopeful stories such as this one. With everything that is going on with the world, there is much that we need to pray for – so that our daughters will grow with kindness and faith into the human beings they are supposed to become.

Your Mama (Amazon | Book Depository)

Written by NoNieqa Ramos Illustrator Jacqueline Alcantara
Published by Versify (2021) ISBN: 1328631885 (ISBN13: 9781328631886) Literary Award: Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature Nominee (2021). Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

Unlike Dreams For A Daughter, this one is spoken through a child’s voice describing a mother who happens to be larger than life.

I love how contemporary the sound of this narrative is: it jives with a beat, a stomp, a rhythm of its own that is distinctive and true.

The child’s gaze towards her mother is adoring and joyful with an intimacy that is well-defined and embodied with grace. I especially love the image above with a mother so radiant, the entire world stops and looks for awhile.

How awesome to have a mother so “woke” she brings children to parades with homemade posters, hair flying, boots on fleek. It is also implied in the narrative that it only “takes two: your mama and you” suggesting that the father is not in the picture at all. Yet, this is not the core of the story, but merely an afterthought to the fullness and richness that your mama brings to the child’s world – and that is all that matters.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 77/78 out of target 100

August 8, 2022 at 06:32AM Myra Garces-Bacsal