That’s My Mum is a book that will have obvious significance for many in the Mixed-Heritage communities. One of the things I like about this book is that while the protagonist and first person narrator is Amelia who is brown with a white mother, her best friend whose family gets just as much space on the page is Kai, a boy with a milk-white skin tone whose mom is brown-skinned. This is the first book I’ve come across that gives attention to the fair-skinned, straight-haired children of brown mothers and the author smartly pairs Amelia and Kai to show that their emotional responses to the mother mix-up are the same.
Together, Kai and Amelia face the emotionally and pragmatically challenging issue of people questioning their relationships with their mothers. Though these two friends find the mother mix-up frustrating and saddening, the language of the book remains light while giving realistic attention to the children’s feelings and communications with people outside of their family. In a humorous twist to their story, the two friends collaborate to create a solution to their shared issue. Many of their ideas are silly, one of which they reject out of self-love and appreciation for what they look like. Ultimately, they decide to make buttons with photos of their mothers– a solution that if noticed by others would completely clarify their relationship with their parents and will put a smile on the readers’ face as it represents the innocence and innovation of children’s minds.
The author’s effort in the middle of the book to demonstrate through the narrative language, the confusion other people face when interacting with them, actually results in confusing the reader as the illustration and the wording are not entirely clear. Due to this, I’d place reading age at no younger than 5-years-old.
Published by the London based Educational Company Mantra Lingua, the book ships from England and is published in dual languages. My copy is in English with Urdu translation, pictured is the cover and an inside page of the English-French copy but the book cover states that it is available in English with 22 other languages. The one drawback to this book for those outside of England –the four weeks it takes to receive the book when ordering through Amazon.com. Enjoy.
For more information about the book, you can find it on Amazon here.