Sunday, November 6, 2016

Honoring #VeteransDay with Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá, by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato (ages 4-8)

As we get ready to celebrate Veterans Day, I wonder about how we can make this meaningful for young children. In my community, I want to honor families who have a family member serving in the Armed Forces. I highly recommend Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá, by Graciela Tiscareno-Sato--a bilingual story that provides an important view of women and mothers serving in the military.
Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá
by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato
illustrated by Linda Lens
Gracefully Global, 2013
Your local library
ages 4-8
When young Marco asks his mother why she is wearing a uniform as he is going to bed, she explains that it is her flight suit. As she puts him to bed, Mama tells Marco about her job as an aircraft navigator and what each patch on her uniform represents.
"What's this?" he asked, pointing to a square shape on her shoulders. "That's my rank. I am a Captain," Mama told him. "You're a Captain? Like the captain of a ship?" asked the little boy. "Yes, something like that sweetheart," she said with a smile.
The conversation keeps the information grounded in a child's perspective, and the gentle tone emphasizes the mother's love for her son. The patches show different aspects of serving in the Air Force, providing an effective frame for the story. As the story wraps up, Marco wears his mother's patch to bed, thinking of her and her team.
Graciela and crew on wing of KC-135R
Graciela & her son
Graciela Tiscareño-Sato based this story on her personal experience flying in the Air Force and her young son's curiosity about her uniform. I love that young readers are able to see a mother serving as a captain in the military, especially honoring a Latina flight navigator. This brings a personal, immediate connection to our celebration of Veterans Day.

I'm looking forward to reading Graciela's new book, Captain Mama's Surprise / La Sorpresa de Capitán Mamá. In this story, Marco visits his mother's KC-135 aerial refueling tanker on a field trip with his second grade class.

Here are a few other stories you might want to share this week as you honor Veterans Day:
Many thanks to Graciela Tiscareño-Sato for sending me a review copy. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


  1. This is awesome. We need these kids to know about real heroes, and this is a great way to do it! Love it. I also recommend Cole's Perfect Puppy by Frances Crossno, a great read on friendships. is her site for it.

  2. GREAT list! I added these as must purchases for my school library.

  3. Thank you Mary Ann. As a veteran, it's important for me to show that mommies and Latinas are veterans too. Here's the info on the bilingual program I bring to schools and libraries, complete with flight suits for dress up. I am also frequently asked to Skype into classrooms for remote author visits in English/Spanish. FUN!