Shine Baby Shine cover
Dewey Dew cover
Mama's nightingale cover


Leslie Staub is an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited nationwide. In addition to Lives: Poems About Famous Americans, she has also illustrated Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation was written by Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Leslie Staub, and published by Dial Books For Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group LLC. Saya is a young Haitian-American girl whose mother has been incarcerated as an illegal immigrant. Night after night, Saya listens longingly to recordings of her mother’s songs and bedtime stories. As she and her father await a decision on her mother’s immigration status, Saya finds a way to share her story in hopes of making the family whole again.


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Kirkus Best Books of 2015 (Mama's Nightingale)

"A serious yet hopeful story...readers similarly separated from a loved one may well find solace in Danticat’s honest storytelling."

-Publishers Weekly (Mama's Nightingale)

"A must-read both for children who live this life of forced separation and those who don't."

-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) (Mama's Nightingale)


"[Danticat] beautifully conveys a story about loss and grief and hope and joy."

-School Library Journal (Starred Review) (Mama's Nightingale)

2016 Jane Addams Peace Prize Honor Book in the Books for Younger Readers category (Mama's Nightingale)

"Skillfully written with Creole words sprinkled into the English, Mama’s Nightingale is richly illuminated by Leslie Staub’s oil paintings evoking Haitian folk art."

-The New York Times (Mama's Nightingale)

"Children of parents who are being detained will be comforted by knowing they are not the only ones facing this challenge and might even be inspired to take action the way Saya does."

-The Horn Book (Mama's Nightingale)

"Danticat’s immigration story is compelling.... The inclusion of Haitian phrases adds to the personal nature of the story, whose happy ending is deserved by all."

-Booklist (Mama's Nightingale)

"A powerful message about the support of friends and defusing a bully wrapped in a sweet Valentine tale."

-Kirkus Reviews (How Do You Say I Love You, Dewey Dew?)



"Warm and bright."

-Kirkus Reviews