Where's My Mommy?, a bright, bold new picture book from British author Jo Brown, tackles every kid's biggest fear: getting separated from mom. The story follows Little Crocodile, newly hatched, as he sets off through the jungle to search for his mother. He doesn't know who she is, but instead of being frightened, the resourceful critter makes friends with all the animals he encounters on his quest.
When he meets a monkey, he asks, "Are you my mommy?" But Little Crocodile can't swing from a tree and make monkey noises, so he moves on. He then encounters an elephant, but he can't do the things an elephant can, so he continues his pursuit. Finally, after becoming acquainted with other beasts in the wild, he meets Zebra, who offers to help him in his search, carrying him on his back all the way to the river where he saw a lot of splashing. Little Crocodile finds he can splash and dive in the water and even snap like all the other little crocodiles. Best of all he is reunited with his mother all after braving the unknown and making new friends.
Aside from adorable characters, Brown's illustrations are what really make this book appealing. With bachelor's and master's degrees in textiles, this first-time author is able to bring a special texture to her pictures. The lines and swirls that make up the elephant communicate the feel of his rough skin, while long strokes and buffed edges indicate the tiger's fur. Brown's use of color is sure to catch the eye of children ages 3 to 7.
Where's My Mommy? is the perfect book for any child who likes animals. It's also just right for adults looking for a vivid book to read to their kids. It sends the message to little ones that while we may all be different colors and have different habits we can still be friends and help each other out in times of need.
Karen Van Valkenburg is a book publicist in Grand Rapids, Michigan.