Camouflage Mom cover

A Story About Staying Connected
By: Sarah Hovorka
Illustrated by: Elif Balta Parks
Published: July 1, 2024
Publisher: Cardinal Rule Press

CAMOUFLAGE MOM is taken right from author Sarah Hovorka’s childhood. In 1987, her mom joined the military and became a soldier when it was not common for a woman to join the military. Sarah writes from her own childhood experiences of having a mom away for weeks or months at a time.

So often, military stories center around the dad being in the military, but this story focuses on a daughter getting used to the idea of her mom being in the military. When Sarah attends the graduation ceremony for her mom after boot camp, Sarah barely recognizes her in the lineup of soldiers. When she spots her, she waves and calls to her mom, but her mom doesn’t respond.

Her mom also used to be more soft and cozy and now wears camouflage and hard, loud boots. She misses baking brownies and taking bike rides with her mom. Sarah is angry that her mom isn’t home with her brother and Dad.

For children of military families, many kids will relate to Sarah’s feelings of frustration, loss, and getting used to a new routine and way of life. The illustrations show Sarah’s mom hard at work, training for the military as well as Sarah’s sadness and worry for her mom. Sarah, her brother, and Dad find a way to laugh again. Then a surprise visitor arrives and Sarah realizes that even though they are apart, there is still a connection to each other.

The end of the book includes Sarah’s own story, including photos of her mom as a soldier. She also includes tips for coping with a separation from a parent. I especially liked the Memory Chain idea where kids can record special or daily events by writing them down or drawing a photo so they can show the parent or family member upon return. This is a great tip for anyone separated from a loved one for a long period of time.

Check out the book trailer:

Click HERE to download a reader’s guide and coloring pages

Sarah Hovorka, a former anthropologist turned homeschooling mom, navigated a winding path to her true passion: writing. After a health crisis altered her life, Sarah embraced her long-held dream and became an author. Balancing her writing with a career in the public sector, Sarah resides in California, where she enjoys family time, reading, and gaming with her husband and three sons.

Elif Balta Parks is a cheese lover, hamster admirer, chocolate connoisseur, and prolific Children’s Book Illustrator from Istanbul, Turkey. Capturing the joy of childhood through bright, cheerful illustrations. Over 60 books illustrated and counting. Lives in Surrey with her husband, cat, and the ever-present tunes of Dean Martin.

Cardinal Rule Press shares realistic, representative books for socially thoughtful children. For more Cardinal Rule Press titles, be sure to visit their bookshelf!

To purchase a copy of CAMOUFLAGE MOM, click HERE.

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

Check out my review policy, HERE.

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