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on May 13, 2003
This 1 star review is for the board book edition -- certainly the harcover gets 5+ stars; it is a classic that should be in every child's library. But why does Random House insist on abridging its catalog to get them to fit into board book format? The board book strips down a story that's already quite simple, and takes all the flavor and joy out of it.
Bottom line: if you want to enjoy "Are You My Mother?" go and buy the "complete" hardcover edition. If you need something sturdy that your child is going to teethe on, buy a Zwiekback biscuit.
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on August 1, 2000
Are you looking for a good book to introduce a small child to the joys of reading? Then this one is a great one!
Long before I realized that babies are little sponges, someone gave me this book for my then first-born one year old (1968! ) Since then, this book has been a staple for all my children, the youngest now 8.
I have read to each child, before they were one - only one isn't as fond of reading as the others, but even he enjoys a good book now and again.
This book is the perfect book to introduce little ones to the joys of reading. The words are few and small, and the question is one of interest to little ones who are still trying to sort out what is going on in this new-to-them world.
The little bird falls from her nest while mother bird is out getting worms. She (or he) goes to every animal she sees and asks, "Are you my mommy?"
This simple story keeps the child's interest, because the little ones are concerned about what happens if they separate from a parent or caregiver.
In the end, of course (I doubt that this is giving away the story!) the bird finds the mother and all is right.
If you want your children or grandchildren to enjoy reading, this book is an excellent start. Expect to have to read it over and over, so well that you both will have it memorized!
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on November 24, 2001
My son is a big, hulking, almost-16-year-old, but to this day, when he sees construction equipment, he says, "Look, Mom! It's a Snort!"
"Are You My Mother" was the book my son never tired of. All through his early toddler years, it was his bedtime favorite, his naptime favorite, a comfort when he was tearful, and his best friend. How many times did he curl up on my lap with his blankie and his thumb while I rocked him and read this book?
The "plot" concerns a baby bird who hatches while the mother bird is out of the nest. Baby sets out to find his mother, and asks everything and everyone he sees, "Are You My Mother?" The "Snort" reference comes when the baby bird asks a huge piece of digging equipment, and..."The big thing just said SNORT!" This is what my son waited for throughout the book...he laughed every single time. And still does.
In the end, the birdie finds his mommy. The perfect, secure ending for a small child who wants reassurance before bed, or any time. This book is a classic. My son still has it, and I know he will read it to his own children some day. I hope I am there to see it.
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on March 26, 2005
My six-month-old son loves this book. It is a wonderful stroller toy because it keeps him occupied for a long time. The cover is soft and snuggly; plus, the baby bird can be put in different little pockets throughout the book--so my two-year-old daughter loves to "read" this book to the baby.

One caveat: because it's so plush we let our son play with it in his crib and he got the string loosely wrapped around his neck. He's fine, and he still loves the book, but I certainly wouldn't let him play with it unsupervised again.
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on July 31, 2010
As a child I loved the regular version of this book so my mother bought the cloth version for my baby girl. I was a little skeptical - thinking that this wasn't a story that a child a soft book age would enjoy (not enough rhythm or rhyme). My little one has loved this since I introduced it to her at approximately 6 months (should have done it sooner). She loves playing with and inspecting the birdie. She loves looking at the bright colors (especially the red which is a color that babies see early). We know that this is one of her favorite things because she takes it with her when she rolls or scoots. I see the complaints about the original story being abbreviated. I understand where the person is coming from because the original story is better but I accept this for what it is - a first book for a baby. In that way it is absolutely perfect. I was not familiar with cloth books before my mother got this for us and I am so glad that she did. I am going to try to post a picture or two (she is holding the book above her head while laying on the floor - absolutely adorable).
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Researchers constantly find that reading to children is valuable in a variety of ways, not least of which are instilling a love of reading and improved reading skills. With better parent-child bonding from reading, your child will also be more emotionally secure and able to relate better to others. Intellectual performance will expand as well. Spending time together watching television fails as a substitute.
To help other parents apply this advice, as a parent of four I consulted an expert, our youngest child, and asked her to share with me her favorite books that were read to her as a young child. Are You My Mother? was one of her picks.
This is a wonderful beginning reader because the story is humorous, the drawings lighten the mood further, and the words are simple and well related to the illustrations. For example, on one page a baby bird is pictured on the edge of the nest alone looking straight up expectantly. The text reads, "He looked up. He did not see her." The next page is the same baby bird still perched on the edge of the nest looking down. the text reads, "He looked down. He did not see her."
The use of repetition is also excellent. The cover question, for example, repeats throughout the book. So your child can learn to read the book with a minimum number of words to learn, and most of the words are illustrated to provide visual clues.
Most children learn to read a book like this by first memorizing it, then reading along with the parent as the parent says the words, then reciting the words, then picking out some words and reading more slowly. Are You My Mother? is well designed for this process.
The story involves a baby bird whose mother has gone off to get food so he is born alone. He looks around for her, tries to find her and falls out of the nest. Then he asks everyone and everything he meets if they are his mother. The question is very silly to a child. Your child knows that an airplane and a steam shovel cannot be a bird's mother, and your child will want to shout "no" and laugh in answer to the question. Everything ends up just fine with the baby bird reunited by the steam shovel just as the mother bird returns to the nest. The baby bird had walked near the mother earlier and had not seen her.
You may be concerned that the story can create insecurity in a child. And that is possible if you do not use the story as an opportunity to discuss when you would be away from your child. Obviously, your child knows who her or his mother is. You can talk about staying with other family members or baby sitters, and how you can be reached by telephone in those circumstances. Most children do worry about such subjects related to separation but often do not raise their concerns with parents. This book provides a natural way to address the subject in an unthreatening way.
After you have read this book, also think about what other insecurities your child may have and how you might discuss those to reduce potential anxiety.
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on August 12, 2008
We adopted a little girl from abroad. She is still a toddler and too young to discuss adoption. We got her this book to see how she would react. It has become her favorite that she MUST have read to her every night. We feel it is helping resolve issues she might have with being adopted. She especially likes that she can take control of the little bird herself and move it through the scenes to its mother.
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on November 2, 2000
This stands alongside Eastman's "Go Dog Go" as a classic of children's literature. Though bound in the same style as Dr. Seuss's books, Eastman's illustrations are more gentle and humorous than they are fantastic. His books entertain children with their broadness, while captivating adults with the fineness of their expression. Eastman's dialog is simple enough for early readers to pick up words, yet complex enough to keep parents from being bored to tears on the thousandth reading. The story of a baby bird separated from its mother runs through several emotional phases (independence, discovery, loss, panic, fear, rediscovery), including the story arc's overall resolved drama, and invites children to surface and discuss their own separation anxieties. A must-have for every early reader that will turn into a book full of memories as they age.
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on November 28, 2004
I read this to my children when they were quite small. My daughter adopted this book as HER book when she was just over one. My husband and I would often read this at family gatherings to our children and whatever nieces and nephews would join in (all ages)and we usually acquired quite a crowd as the various children were attracted to the zany voices that this book inspires.

Now my children are grown and I work as a speech and language pathologist in a public school. This usually is the first "story" book I read to the younger set. Once they are hooked on board books and lift the flap books and have acquired a small amount of ability to sit still for a book, I introduce this book. It is soooo good for vocabulary and sentence skills and so much fun to read aloud to the kids. I incorporate lots of nutty voices and motor movement to act out the plot and I never hear a word of complaint when I pick this book out for another reading.

Usually I leave out several books for the kids to chose from and invariably this one is chosen first, no matter how many times I have read it to them!

P.S. I now own this as a board book so I could hear my husband read this to our daughter's small son. He defined himself as a book reader to her and her brother and now he is reading it to our grandson, who was one when we introduced it. It one of the first with a distinct plot (albeit, very simple plot) and he always listens all the way through. Time will tell if he will like it as much as his mother did.
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on July 30, 2014
Are You My Mother is one of my favorite children's books, but the abridged version sold here is just terrible. It takes out all of the suspense and emotion, thus ruining this classic. This review written by Derek's wife Jackie.
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