Title: A Suitcase Surprise for Mommy
Author: Cat Cora
Illustrator: Joy Allen
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Concepts: jobs, tradeoffs, caring labor
Review: After young Zoran is upset about his mother’s upcoming business trip, his mother suggests that he find something special for her to put in her suitcase. This way she will be reminded of him while she travels, and it will be like he is with her the whole time. Zoran looks all over his room for the perfect something special but cannot find it. Finally he lights upon an idea – he will give his mother the picture he drew for her at school. It is just the perfect size for her to bring everywhere with her and show to her co-workers, and its message of “I love you Mommy” is just what she needs to hear.
Chef Cat Cora’s book was inspired by her own son giving her something special for her suitcase whenever she travels. The book is a perfect read-aloud for parents to prepare their children for when they are traveling for business or returning to work after an absence. It is also a launching pad for discussing economic concepts, such as why parents need to work in the first place.
Joy Allen’s sweet, colorful illustrations add to the loving, homey feel that the book conveys. Small details, such as the reactions of Zoran’s cat to various actions, are a charming addition.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children