Meaning: extraordinarily good; wonderful; a children’s word to express approval.
Being the skeptic that I am, believing that Mary Poppins would actually exist outside of Disney seemed unfathomable. But let me be the first to tell you: I. Was. Wrong. There, I said it. Please don’t tell my husband that I would admit to such a thing. I realized I was wrong while interviewing Florence Ann Romano, author of the book Nanny and Me. Romano talks about her experience as a nanny with such sincerity, kindness, and an honest love of “her kids,” it was nearly impossible not to reach through the phone and try to snag her as a babysitter for my two young girls. What I really loved about Romano was her use of imagination. My older daughter has a very active imagination and a love of storytelling. As I spoke to Romano, I could visualize the adventures the two of them would stir up while my husband and I were at work. I could also picture in my mind my younger daughter following the two of them around through fun days that I would later hear about when I came home from work.
I used my daughters as book testers. We read Nanny and Me at bedtime, and both of my girls loved the book. Not only was the story easy to read, the colorful illustrations popped out of pages. As I read the book, I could also easily visualize the story, and it truly captured me as well. The story line of Nanny and Me explains to kids how a caretaker is not meant to take the place of Mom and Dad, but to love them as Mom and Dad would. As Romano explains,
It is more common now that families need to be a two-income family. A nanny should be someone that not only a parent trusts to look out for their child’s best interests, but someone the child can trust as well. Your nanny should be an extension of family, almost like an aunt or uncle.
The author first became aware of how hard it is for a parent to leave their child with a babysitter when she saw the face of a first-time mom returning to work on the first day. Romano told me how she saw the guilt and fear in the eyes of the baby’s mother as she handed her infant over to Romano–a feeling many mothers that have returned to work know all too well. She then set out to make sure the mom felt comfortable with her caring for her child, and then made sure the children she watched knew how much she cared for them.
Nanny and Me is a book for the children. Romano found there were so many books for parents on how to pick the right caregiver for their family, but she was not able to find a children’s book that spoke directly to the child to ease the child’s fear of having a new person take care of them. This book describes a day in the life of kids and their nanny. It depicts how their nanny takes care of them, feeds them, tells them stories and takes them out to play. Romano chose highlights of her own days as a nanny to tell the story. Romano keeps in touch with the kids she has cared for to this day–even watching them graduate from high school and college.
After reading Nanny and Me and speaking to Romano, it made me think about what so many parents talk about when they look for babysitters. With technology constantly at our hands, we all want a babysitter who pays attention to our children rather than their cell phones, social media sites and TV shows. In the book Nanny and Me, the character “Nanny” pays close attention to the children she cares for, knows the kids’ personalities, and talks to their parents. Who wouldn’t want a nanny like, well, Nanny?
This story brought back memories of my own favorite childhood babysitter. It’s been years since I recalled Carrie Gillis and our “Purple Pinky Club.” The “Purple Pinky Club” was exclusive to myself, my little brother and our friends in our apartment building. Our group would solve various mysteries about the people in each apartment unit, using clues left in the stairways, and imagining what really was on the roof of the building. What made my Carrie as fun as the kids that Romano took care of? Imagination. Games. Play time. Attention.
My girls love their copy of Nanny and Me, and I would recommend this book to all parents as they transition back into the work place. There is no doubt in my mind that Romano poured her own heart into this story.
Disclosure: The author received a copy of the book for review purposes only. All content and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Some links provided in this story are affiliate links. A small percentage of purchases made through those links are earned and used to cover the expense of running the site. Thank you for clicking!