A Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase book which beautifully illustrates the bond of a mother and daughter. Set in Malaysia, this diverse book shows a rich culture that readers will learn about, as well as relate to in 48 large 9 x 11 pages.
The simple text shows Little Aleeya watching her dear mother, Mommy sayang, pray five times a day, them doing chores together, cooking side by side, eating with friends and family, and smiling through it all. Little Aleeya even dreams of her and her mother at night among the hibiscus flowers.
Mommy Sayang, however, gets ill and Aleeya waits and waits for her to get better. Day after day Aleeya grows sadder and sadder until one day she gets an idea of how she can help her mother.
The change of perspective from Aleeya needing her mom, to her mom needing Aleeya is sweet and empowering. The book doesn’t detail what makes her mom sick or why up until Aleeya’s idea takes form is she not able to hang out in her mother’s room with her.
Listeners as little as 4 or 5 will enjoy the story and the tone provided by the minimal text and illustration style, older independent readers up to 2nd grade or so will learn new vocabulary and get a peek at a possibly new culture.
I like that the mom wears hijab when they are out and about doing chores or people are over, but that when she is home in her bed she is not covered. The illustrations are fabulous and gentle, as is the message.
There is a small glossary of four words on the dedication and copyright page and there is a bit about the author, her inspiration, and what movies she has worked on at Pixar at the end.