A picture book I read recently has the simple premise that you don’t need a lot of money to have a happy childhood or to have a happy life, in general. There are tons of free or low-cost activities that parents can do with their children, such as reading and going to the library like LaToya does with her mama, in order to build that parent-child bond and a lifetime of memories.
The language is simple and easy for a school aged child to read and tries to capture the lives, traditions and way of speaking of an urban African-American family, although I found the overall flow/cadence of the writing long and clunky when read aloud.
There is a scene where Latoya’s mom is trying to protect her daughter from the gunshots in their dangerous neighborhood: Yes, crime and poverty in their neighbourhoods is a reality for many African-American families, but this part of the story could lend itself easily to stereotypes.
Otherwise, this book promotes a nice simple message that money isn’t everything. And I like that it promotes the act of reading and going to the library. I spent many happy hours of my childhood in our tiny local library.
This book is by Patricia Moore who had been a preschool teacher prior to becoming an award winning writer and magazine editor. Latoya's Downtown Day and her previous works are on sale on Amazon.