Cover image for What will Mommy do when I'm at school?
What will Mommy do when I'm at school?
Johnson, Dolores.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan ; London : Collier Macmillan, [1990]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
A child worries about how her mother will cope at home on her own while she is at school.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 20658.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Frank E. Merriweather Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A child worries about how her mother will cope at home on her own while she is at school.

Author Notes

Dolores Johnson received a bachelor's degree in art from Boston University. She eventually moved to the Los Angeles area and applied her talents to advertising and television. At a friend's suggestion, she enrolled in picture book writing and illustrating courses. She was eventually asked to illustrate Jenny by Beth P. Wilson, which was published in 1990. Since then, she has written and illustrated several of her own stories including What Will Mommy Do When I'm at School?, Now Let Me Fly, and The Children's Book of Kwanzaa.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. Johnson approaches the trauma of the first day of school from a brand-new perspective--how will my mother cope? As a young girl prepares for her first foray into the world, she wonders how her mother will manage all alone. Lovingly, she recalls their shared activities--cooking breakfast, watching cartoons, shopping for groceries, and having tea parties. She asks her father to stay home to keep mom company, but mom has plans of her own--a new job. Finally, mother and daughter agree to share all their new experiences each evening. The watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations are a highlight. Johnson's expressive faces tell the real story, even as we read the child's point of view. The girl tells us her mother has never shopped alone; yet we see this helpful daughter clutching a ripped bag of potato chips that is spilling all over the floor. The humor, while never flippant, keeps the story from becoming saccharine. A warm and reassuring tale for parents and children alike. ~--Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The considerate black girl in this comforting book turns her own fears about exchanging her well-known daily routine for the world of school into concern for her mother. ``As long as I've known my mom, I've never left her alone,'' she muses. She goes on to recount many of the pleasurable experiences they shared when they stayed home together: making muffins in the morning, singing songs, combing each other's hair, reading books and shopping for groceries. Her mom lets the girl know that she shouldn't worry about her. Although she'll miss her daughter, she won't have time to be lonely, as she is starting a new job. The girl promises to teach her mother all that she learns in school, thus giving the story a reassuring resolution: there will still be time for sharing. Although Johnson's realistic watercolor and colored-pencil drawings are not particularly distinctive, her tale offers a fresh perspective on a familiar subject. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 1-- A little girl on the eve of her first day of school is worried, not about herself, but about her mother. No more cooking muffins together, no more watching cartoons as they straighten up the living room, no more time for combing each other's hair in the morning . . . how will her mother cope? Her parents' gentle assurances help her begin to look forward to the new adventure, and she decides she will alleviate her mother's loneliness by sharing her school experiences with her. This variation on the theme of school jitters addresses the concerns of some sensitive children, but the text goes on too long, and the girl's final acceptance of the situation is jarringly sudden. The mother's last-minute declaration that she herself will be beginning a brand new job makes the ending a bit too pat. The softly colored illustrations depicting a warm, middle-class black family are attractive, but the perspective seems off, and the poses often appear awkward. Still, this portrayal of one of childhood's major transitions will appeal to many. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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