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Children's Fiction Parents

When Mom's Away

by (author) Layla Ahmad

illustrated by Farida Zaman

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Parents, Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries, Daily Activities
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 4
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


Things are changing for one little girl whose mom is a busy doctor. When her mom has to be in quarantine—sleeping on a cot in their garage to keep the family safe from the virus—the girl does her best to be brave. She and her dad spend time together, she goes to school online, and she helps her grandparents too…making sure to wave so they know it's her!

They join their neighbours outside to thank the doctors and nurses around the world for their hard work. But of course the highlight of the day is when mom comes home, and they wave to each other through the window. A great story to inspire hope and confidence in both little ones and big ones when times may seem uncertain.

About the authors

Layla Ahmad is a writer with a background in marketing and communications largely in media and entertainment. She has worked with The Drake Hotel, RBC, Diply, Blue Ant Media, MaRS, and The Port Authority of New York City. She has been published by Meredith, Clover, Fan Sided, Chill House, and has collaborated with Man Repeller. She lives in Toronto.


Layla Ahmad's profile page

Farida Zaman is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and writer who is well-known for her whimsical, uplifting designs. She has illustrated fourteen picture books, including When Mom's Away, Ta-Da! and The Yoga Game, and is the author/illustrator of I Want To Be… A Gutsy Girls’ ABC. Born in Bangladesh, and having called many different countries home, Farida describes herself as a global citizen with a flair for illustrating stories related to different cultures, travel, history, and diverse lived experiences. She trained in fine art and illustration at the Chelsea School of Art and the Wimbledon School of Art in London, England, where she graduated top of her class with honors. Her work has been exhibited at shows and galleries and has received recognition and awards in Europe and North America.

Farida Zaman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

...this issue-based story is a timely discussion prompt.

Kirkus Reviews

Ahmad’s prose is straightforward; textured art by Zaman enlivens each text-heavy page of this realistic pandemic primer.

Publishers Weekly

When Mom’s Away is a heartwarming, relatable story that would make for an excellent addition to any school or home library.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

" excellent read for children who are upset or perplexed by all the changes they have faced in recent months due to the pandemic."

Winnipeg Free Press

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