Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill

I had my one child when I was 37. Arriving a little later to the game made me especially grateful for the birth of my beautiful baby girl, Bree. Like all moms, the challenges were many and the love boundless.

This book commemorates and celebrates our years of simple everyday mother-daughter fun—so much of which is universal.

Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill: Tales of Love and Laughter is a children’s book with gorgeous and soothing watercolor illustrations by a rising young artist, Amber Rae Malott.

In rhyming verse, I recall all the fun and magic of simple, spontaneous days spent with my daughter exploring our neighborhood of Russian Hill, San Francisco. Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill speaks to the special bond of love and trust between mother and child that comes from taking the time to play and be together.

In an age of all things digital, Amber and I are proud to present a book that is entirely hand-drawn and painted. The book is ideal for moms with children ages 3-10, yet any mother or child will find this book a heartwarming trip down memory lane of cherished time together. The book also includes an interactive section for recording your favorite activities, adventures, and memories.

I hope you enjoy reading this with a child in your life and that it sparks or inspires beautiful memories for you and yours.

—Barbara Bella

Buy on Amazon
Buy on
( supports local bookstores)

All proceeds will be donated to children’s literacy.
New: Hear Mother-Daughter Days read aloud by a loving father to his five-year-old son, Tom, in this beautiful episode of the Dad and Son Stories podcast.

   “As refreshing as a double cone of Swensen’s ice cream, Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill—beautifully illustrated in graceful watercolor by emerging artist Amber Rae Malott—follows the path of Barbara and Bree as they create special moments together. Tag along to discover the most enduring truth of motherhood: The time we have with our children is more precious than we can ever know, but making memories together builds a lifetime of love. Let Barbara and Bree show you how to do it!”

—Carol Evans, founder, Working Mother magazine

    “In an exquisitely rendered illustrated book, Barbara Bella glows with joy as she sensitively reveals the different phases of her rapport with her daughter from the moment of childbirth into maturity as they explore their neighborhood, Russian Hill in San Francisco. Quite in evidence is her story-telling skill, and once you have read the rhyming verse, it will keep you enthralled until the last page and beyond.

    The match of the book’s subject and Amber Rae Malott’s creative and remarkably expressive color palette is delicious. She possesses a solid understanding of the author’s intentions that is evident in the delicate, detailed whimsical figures and the original urban sketches.”

—Norm Goldman, editor and publisher, Bookpleasures

    “In her warm and wonderful rhyming debut picture book, Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill, Barbara Bella pulls on the heart strings, remembering the many precious, tender and fun moments she shared with her daughter growing up. Bella successfully touches on the universal themes any parent in any era can relate to, while illustrator Amber Rae Malott’s gorgeous watercolors invite the reader into Bella’s world of the charming San Francisco neighborhood. A great read-aloud for ages 3-8.”

—Barry Wittenstein, winner of the 2020 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children


Thank you for letting me share my story with you.  I’d love to hear your story, too!

I invite you to tell me about your favorite activities and adventures… and it would be fun if you wish to send them in rhyming verse!  I’ll share them here on the website, and maybe someday I could compile them into a collection of Mother-Daughter Days from around the country!

Email with your story.

Barbara Bella has been a working mom and owner of a premier West Coast Publishers’ Representative Firm which provides advertising sales management for magazine brands in print and digital formats.  Employing over 150 young professionals in San Francisco and Los Angeles over the course of her career, Barbara has been both mentor and colleague.

She has served on the Board as Trustee of San Francisco University High School and is Chair Emerita of Golden Gate Philharmonic youth orchestra.  Barbara has planned ten Mother-Daughter trips over a decade with another mother-daughter duo where together they have traveled the world.  She became a CASA last year and currently mentors a high school youth in San Francisco.  She resides on Russian Hill, San Francisco with her husband, John Baccaglini.

One of her greatest joys is the loving relationship she has with her daughter Bree, now 27.

Amber Rae Malott is a freelance watercolor artist. Her work appears in several comics and commissions. Mother-Daughter Days on Russian Hill: Tales of Love and Laughter is the first children’s book she has illustrated.