Book Review: Mommy's Day Off |

Book Review: Mommy's Day Off

Mothers seldom get a break from being the backbone of their families – they are regularly the caretakers, nurses, chauffeurs, chefs, housekeepers, cheerleaders, advisors, and so much more. No one can fill a mother's shoes or understand the countless hats she wears in her unwavering dedication to her family and children. It is no wonder that Allah has honored and elevated the status of mothers in the Quran, and the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, consistently emphasized the importance of respecting and caring for them. Mothers are our first and most influential educators, instilling lessons that shape us for a lifetime. While they shower us with love and affection, they teach us discipline and guide us on the right path. Their unconditional love provides comfort through every stage of life, from infancy to adulthood. Nevertheless, we often overlook or underestimate the depth of their sacrifices. Mommy's Day Off, an enchanting debut picture book by author Jacqueline Christine, offers a playful glimpse into the difference it makes when Mommy takes a little time for herself.

Louie is a little boy whose mother leaves home for a day (and night) to help a friend in need. Even on her "day off," it is noteworthy that Louie's mom is still helpful and kind, setting an excellent example for little readers on the importance of selflessness. Although Mommy will not be around to help her son with his usual daily activities, fortunately, Louie's dad, Papi, will hold down the fort until she returns. Mommy, Papi, and Louie are a small, nuclear Latino family. Papi is a fun-loving father who goes out of his way to spoil his son and, while Louie enjoys this quality time alone with his dad, he still cannot help but remember his mother. 

A day without Mommy begins with Papi serving Louie waffles and ice cream for breakfast. He also lets him watch a movie without even making his bed, makes a mess out of the playroom, and later takes him to the toy store in pajamas. "Mommy would never let me do that!" Louie repeats the phrase throughout the day as he follows his father on every fun adventure. Papi brushes his son's concerns aside and reassures him he is in charge as they do everything Louie would never dream of doing when Mommy is around. Papi buys Louie a new costume and toys even though it is not even his birthday! They play cowboys and outlaws until they get tired and have gooey pizza for dinner. 

Papi sends Louie off to brush his teeth as the day winds down. At this point, Louie remembers what Mommy always does, like helping him brush his teeth, singing him a song, and reading him a book while acting out the story. Papi does not do any of those things. Despite having fun with his dad, he misses the familiar, loving habits established with his mother. When Papi kisses him goodnight, Louie lays in bed, unable to sleep. At this, Papi suggests he count sheep. "Mommy would never make me count sheep!" he thinks sadly, "She'd lie in bed with me and stroke my hair. Tell me stories of dragons, princes, pirates, and bears." His thoughts turn to his mother and all the comfort she provides. He realizes that despite enjoying one-on-one time with Papi, he misses the type of love only his mother can give. As Louie reminisces about how his mother lays down with him and strokes his hair when he has trouble sleeping, he finally dozes off. The following day, he awakens to his mother sitting by his side and gently stroking his face.  

Mommy's Day Off is filled with lessons children can quickly grasp about generosity, family, responsibility, and appreciation for parents. There is a greater emphasis on the role of the mother as the irreplaceable, gentle, and loving caregiver. Nevertheless, the book also honors the father's role as a spontaneous and playful provider. Both parenting styles complement each other and provide a realistic glimpse into child-rearing dynamics within a nuclear family. It seems that Papi knows the void he must fill during Mommy's absence, so he attempts to make the day entertaining for his son. Louie naturally misses his mother even though he loves his dad and appreciates his efforts. 

The author, Jacqueline Christine, is a proud Latina Muslim who strives to promote literacy and bonding through storytelling by writing books that entertain and inspire. She describes herself as, "a dedicated wife and mother of five who deeply values the connection fostered through story time with my children." As a busy mom, she has firsthand experience with the joys and challenges of parenthood, evident in the authenticity and warmth of her writing. Jacqueline actively engages with young readers, educators, and parents to develop interactive activities that extend the story's lessons beyond the pages of her book. She published Mommy's Day Off through her own Black Ant Publishing. The company's mascot, "Ashley Ant," makes an appearance throughout the book, and little readers are encouraged to scan the illustrations to spot their new friend. This activity adds another dimension to the story that children will enjoy. 

Jacqueline's dedication to celebrating diversity and fostering connection shines through in her work. With Mommy's Day Off, she offers a charming story for children and embodies a commitment to nurturing young minds and promoting the joy of reading and storytelling in families across cultures. Be sure to pick up a copy of Mommy's Day Off on Amazon or visit to learn more about her work. 

Wendy Díaz is a Puerto Rican Muslim writer, award-winning poet, translator, and mother of six (ages ranging from infant to teen). She is the co-founder of Hablamos Islam, a non-profit organization that produces educational resources about Islam in Spanish ( She has written, illustrated, and published over a dozen children’s books and currently lives with her family in Maryland. Follow Wendy Díaz on social media @authorwendydiaz and @hablamosislam.

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