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A Review of the Children's Book "Mama Always Comes Home"

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A Review of the Children's Book
Image courtesy of HarperCollins

The Bottom Line

Working moms and their children alike will find comfort in the gentle picture book, Mama Always Comes Home, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Brooke Dyer. Even the youngest child will be drawn to the simple rhymes and watercolor illustrations of animal mamas and their broods. Children will empathize with the baby birds and kittens who cry when their mamas must leave. And the reassurance that "Mama always comes home" can be a mantra for mothers when leaving children with a babysitter.
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  • Brightly colored watercolors and animal themes engage children
  • Addresses the common experience of child separation anxiety without being heavy handed
  • Gives mother and child a reassuring mantra that "mama always comes home" to use in real life
  • Simple rhymes and short length work even for toddlers


  • Doesn't address the situation of moms leaving children to be cared for in a non-home location
  • Papa only makes one appearance, in the second to last page of the book


  • Picture book with 32 pages, published by HarperCollins in 2005
  • Aimed at ages 3 to 6 but appropriate for a 2-year old who can sit still for a story
  • Retail price is $6.99 for paperback, $15.99 for hardcover
  • Bright watercolors illustrate the topic without cluttering the pages
  • Simple rhymes describe animal mothers and one human mama leaving and returning to their babies
  • Written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Brooke Dyer

Guide Review - A Review of the Children's Book "Mama Always Comes Home"

There seems to be a plethora of children's books on topics such as potty training, a sibling being born, and moving to a big kid bed. But despite the fact that 60% of new moms work outside the home, there are few excellent books for children dealing with separation anxiety. Top of my list is Mama Always Comes Home, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Brooke Dyer. I love that the book presents working moms as a natural part of the world, necessary to keep food on the table.

"In a softly feathered nest, a mama bird and hatchlings rest," the book begins. But the industrious mama bird must leave her crying babies to dig up worms and feed her family. How many working moms can relate to that? Fortunately, Mama always comes home, and the birdies enjoy a cuddle upon her return.

Similar rhymes describe mothers and babies who are cats and dogs, with each section ending with the mantra "Mama always comes home." Then we flip through the animal kingdom, where mama dolphin, chipmunk, chimpanzee, bear, gopher, mole, and pony all leave their "little ones" and then "hurry right back home." Finally, a human mom and offspring cuddle before the mother drives away, leaving her child in dad's capable arms. The book ends with the pair reunited, because "Mama always comes back home to you."

The book is illustrated beautifully, with simple watercolors of animals and their babies. The rhymes use kid-friendly language and are easy to remember. I read it so often to my daughters that I memorized it without even trying. And when I leave them with a sitter, a whispered reminder that "Mama always comes home" is often enough to stop tears before they start. Mama Always Comes Home should be on every working mom's bookshelf.

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