When Mom’s Away by Layla Ahmad

When Mom’s Away by Layla Ahmad
Publisher: Second Story Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Things are changing for one little girl whose mom is a busy doctor. When her mom has to be in quarantine―sleeping on a cot in their garage to keep the family safe from the virus―the girl does her best to be brave. She and her dad spend time together, she goes to school online, and she helps her grandparents too…making sure to wave so they know it’s her! They join their neighbours outside to thank the doctors and nurses around the world for their hard work. But of course the highlight of the day is when mom comes home, and they wave to each other through the window. A great story to inspire hope and confidence in both little ones and big ones when times may seem uncertain.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been around for over a year now, but there are still lessons to learn from it.

This fictionalized account of it showed how a young girl dealt with being separated for weeks on end from her mother who was a doctor. I appreciated how much time was spent showing the parts of this pandemic that were still hard for the main character even though her family has gone through this separation many times before.

It was lovely to see how Ms. Ahmad portrayed so many different aspects of living through this historic event. Sometimes the main character was sad and lonely for perfectly understandable reasons. In another scene, she bravely helped her father deliver groceries to her grandparents so that they could remain healthy. The uncertainty of life at the moment was perfectly communicated to the youngest members of society.

The relationship between the main character and her father was also delightful. He was so kind and supportive of his child, especially when she missed her mom more than usual and desperately wanted their family to be together again. I couldn’t have asked for a better demonstration of what parenting should be like under such tough circumstances.

By far my favorite section was the ending. It provided the hope that we all need to keep going while also acknowledging that we’re not out of the woods quite yet. This was something I’d be thrilled to read to the little ones in my life who are trying to come to grips with what has happened to our species and when it might be possible to return to something close to normal.

When Mom’s Away was a wonderful read for anyone whose family has been separated due to this pandemic.

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