The Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase adds another title to its growing list of picture books, this time shining a Luxo lamp spotlight on Storyboard Artist Rosana Sullivan. Her new book, Mommy Sayang, tells the touching story of a mother and daughter’s strong bond through a family illness. Rosana “Rosie” Sullivan also got a chance to shine earlier this year through the SparkShorts series with her short film, Kitbull.
Aleeya and her mother, “Mommy Sayang,” have a very special relationship. They spend all day together taking care of their home, watering hibiscus flowers, and cooking for their family. When Mommy Sayang falls ill, Aleeya searches for a way to be there for her mother through her time of need.
The story is set in Malaysia and depicts a Muslim family through gorgeous artwork and cultural representation. While the author was born in America, she explains the inspiration for this book at the end when she reveals that she and her mother bonded over art and drawing. Her mother would draw many pictures of the Malaysian village she grew up in, which became a source of inspiration for this story.
Rosana Sullivan’s artwork is beautiful. She uses soft pastels and silhouettes for backgrounds, juxtaposed against bright and vibrant colors on main characters and symbolic items, like the red hibiscus flowers. While the backgrounds are simplistic, the characters and cultural items are rich and detailed. Mommy Sayang’s sarong, for example, features an intricate pattern and appears on most of the pages.
If Kitbull and Mommy Sayang are an example of Rosana Sullivan’s creativity, I think it’s safe to say that she is going to go very far in her career and become a game changer in the animation industry. Mommy Sayang is not only great for Pixar fans who want to get to know the artists better, but also a perfect story for mothers to read to their daughters. With Mother’s Day serving as a reminder to show your love and appreciation for the woman who raised you, Mommy Sayang also makes a great gift for the mother in your life.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.