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On Mother's Lap Hardcover – March 23, 1992


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Frequently Bought Together

On Mother's Lap + I'm a Big Brother + The New Baby
Price for all three: $18.65

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  • I'm a Big Brother $3.94
  • The New Baby $2.56

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 3 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; Reprint edition (March 23, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395589207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395589205
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The furnishings are few in this chilly Eskimo dwelling, but when Michael jumps in Mother's lap, the love between them warms the room, as "back and forth, back and forth, they rock." Michael runs to get Dolly, then his carved boat, a reindeer blanket and even his puppy: the small rocking chair is full. When Baby cries, Mother insists there's room for her too, but Michael pouts and hides. All of them end up back in the chair, crowded but cozy; Michael admits, "It feels good." Pastels in earth tones and turquoise create a luminous setting with the captivating faces of the serene mother and her two small children. Though the story is very slight, it makes a reassuring point for little ones, who need to know that a mother's love is an expandable quantity. Ages 2-5.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- An update of the 1972 collaboration (McGraw-Hill; o.p.). Coalson improves upon a fine original work, drawing the Eskimo mother as a younger woman and adding color, finer lines, and details of contemporary Inuit life. Scott's spare, gentle text has not been altered; the difference is its placement on the page. The universality of all-encompassing maternal love transcends ethnicity and still rings true in the update, but Coalson's realistic, warm illustrations give On Mother's Lap revitalized energy to reach a new generation of youngsters. Libraries still owning the earlier work can get by, but this one is a top choice. --Mollie Bynum, Chester Valley Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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I would recomment this book highly.
Robin L. Layton
The story reads quickly and simply, and the illustrations are just beautiful.
Love-Faith-Hope
My 17 month old son has been loving this book the last few months.
Carrie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many of our friends and family are in the time of life when the families are expanding, so a book to soften the blow to a newly de-throned older sibling is just the thing. When we visit a family with a present for a new baby, I ALWAYS make sure I have this book in hand for the older child. The only thing I vary is which version I give (hardcover, paperback and board book based on the age of the child).
The book is full of incredibly beautiful images of a simple life with text that is rhythmic and flowing. It exudes love and caring without being smothering or indulgent. It reinforces the idea that a new sibling, rather than being an annoyance, actually adds to the joy that is family life!
It is, far and away, the best of the books I have seen on the subject and I've looked at dozens! We even have several that were given to my son when my daughter was born, however, this is the only one that stayed in our reading repertoire. The children still sometimes go back to it (and mine are 6 and 8 now). "There's always room... on Mother's lap" was nearly a mantra in our house for a number of years!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book was a present from a friend to my son who was 2 at the time my daughter was born. The children are now 5 and 3, respectively. It continues as a favorite from amongst the now hundreds of books on their shelves. Not only is this book a wonderful lesson of sharing and love ("There's always room on Mother's lap" has become a mantra in our house), but it is also a lovely book filled with beautiful images of everyday Inuit life. I'm now buying a copy for another friend of mine who is expecting her second child.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mamma Bird on June 9, 2010
Format: Board book
This is my first-ever Amazon review. I have a new baby at home and a toddler as well as a pre-teen. I studied children's literature in college and have accumulated my share of picture books throughout the years. How have I NEVER heard of this book before. It just came in the mail as a gift from a friend. It may be my favorite children's book to date. This is the perfect gift for any new big brother/sister. Our family is blessed to have received it as a gift. You must read it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nanette on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book to my children until they were WAY to big to sit in my lap. The peaceful, soft, happy pictures are irresistable, and the cozy togetherness is a feeling we can't get enough of.

While teaching my first English class to a group of adult refugees from southeast Asia, I chose this book to read aloud. I wanted to share a happy book that would show them new things and new words (Snow! Eskimos!) They had suffered and lost so much. I hoped that On Mother's Lap would be okay for them, even though it's a children's book.

All the adults listened, transfixed. Afterward, they thanked me and some of them hugged me. One woman quietly repeated "back and forth, back and forth they rocked," smiling and rocking.

Words and illustrations that put peace and sweetness into a refugee's heart. I can't give a book higher praise than that.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Irish Flair on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells the story of a little boy who, while curled on his Mother's lap, wants to bring all sorts of other objects up with him... until the baby wants to be included. Of course, there's "always room on Mother's lap" which the little boy finds is not only true but a pleasant experience for him as well.
I love the restful illustrations and the ethnic items the young boy wants to have with him on mom's lap. The overall story is one of sweet acceptance and a perfect read for a young older sibling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy on June 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on the glowing reviews, but I had my doubts about whether or not my rambunctious 2.5-year-old would be interested. I had nothing to worry about -- my son could not love this book more, and neither could I. It is a treasure for us to enjoy together. It helps us talk about love in a way that he can understand. What a rare gift!

The pictures are understated and gorgeous. They tell a story my son can understand. I love reading this book with him and asking him what's happening in each picture and what could happen next. "Puppy's awake! Puppy is watching! Puppy wants to rock!" Etc. He just gets it.

I'm currently expecting my second child and found this book while looking for big brother/new baby titles. In terms of preparing my son for the upcoming emotional reality of being one of two kids, I feel like this book is among the best I purchased. With no new baby yet, there's still no telling how my son will react or what we'll learn has been useful preparation. But I can't imagine better preparation than the message in this book, communicated in a way my son understands.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on July 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
First, let me note for those interested in the subject that this book shows babywearing on the cover.

But that's really just a lagniappe in a good book.

Michael is, as you can guess, sitting on his mother's lap, and he keeps getting down and fetching more and more of his special things to be with him. Eventually all this wakes his sister, and his mother goes to sit her on her lap as well, and he makes room and they snuggle together.

The author doesn't patronize kids by carefully spelling out "Michael is jealous of his sister" or anything of that nature. It's too easy to do that. Instead, Michael's feelings are clearly shown by his words ("There isn't room") and the illustrations (him hiding under his blanket is priceless).

I wouldn't suggest giving this to a mother of five who has already started yelling "I WANT MY LAP BACK", after all, the moral is that there's *always* room on mother's lap. But most everybody else is going to love it.
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