Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love

Me and the Boss cover
Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love by Michelle Edwards; illustrated by April Harrison

By Michelle Edwards
Illustrated by April Harrison
An Anne Schwartz Book / Random House,  2022
32 pages

Ages 4-8

Lee’s big sister, Zora, is “the boss,” often telling him what to do and always watching out for him. At a sewing program at the library, Zora insists the librarian give Lee fabric, thread, and a needle just like the other kids, even though he’s younger. “Mrs. C shows us how to sail our thread through the needle’s eye like a little boat.” Lee’s jumble of stitches makes a crooked half-moon. “The boss makes a fine flower.” Lee hides his messy work when they get home. But in the middle of the night, he takes out the needle and thread and picks up where he left off; remembering to stitch slowly, he transforms the half-moon into a full moon, complete with a smile. Inspired, he keeps going, first sewing up the hole in his pants pocket, and later surprising Zora by fixing the torn ear on Bess, her bear. “She wraps me and Bess in her special hug, and we share something that is bigger than my pocket, bigger than Bess’s ear, maybe even bigger than me or Zora.” The mixed-media collage illustrations, often with circular frames, echo the tenderness and warmth of a story about two Black siblings. Marvelous pacing and superb details further distinguish the storytelling. Winner, 2023 Charlotte Zolotow Award ©2023 Cooperative Children’s Book Center