MAMA'S DAY WITH LITTLE GRAY, by Aimee Reid, Illus. by Laura J. Bryant
Published March 2014
"A cozy tale about a young elephant imagining what things would be like if he were grown.
An elephant mother spends the day with her Little Gray. His desire to grow up and his conflicting desire that his mother always be there to offer advice and support are at the root of his many questions. “Mama, when I grow up, will you grow down?” Mama elephant is portrayed as the ideal mother. Her gentle words put her young one at ease and bolster his growing confidence. When Little Gray states he will share leaves from a tall tree when he is bigger, Mama exclaims, “You would be big!…And very kind.” Pastel-hued spreads are dominated by pale yellows, warm greens and watery blues. The elephants’ expressive eyes convey admiration and love, while the nimble movements of the younger pachyderm contrast with the steady, darker-hued mother, whose bigger shape often frames her child. Still, although Reid’s and Bryant’s talents pair well, the number of books about animal mothers and children are many. This story is enjoyable enough but may not ultimately be that memorable.
A nice addition in places where the animal-child-and-mother herd is a little thin. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"In Reid’s debut children’s book, as a mother elephant and her calf stroll through the grasslands, Little Gray imagines the two of them switching places. “‘If I grew up and you were my calf.... I’d spend every day with you,” he says. “I would be your calf and stay right by your side,” his mother responds. Bryant’s dewy, pastel palette fills the landscape as the elephants saunter along, acting out each of the scenarios that the calf entertains. “ ‘I could show you how to make mud,’ said Little Gray. ‘I know you’d be a good teacher,’ Mama said.” An abundantly sweet depiction of a child’s gentle nudging for assurance. Ages 2–5."