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Are You My Mother ? Hardcover – Illustrated, June 12, 1960
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This is the classic from which many of our staff first learned to read, starting us on a path of unremitting bibliophilia. Are You My Mother? follows a confused baby bird who's been denied the experience of imprinting as he asks cows, planes, and steam shovels the Big Question. In the end he is happily reunited with his maternal parent in a glorious moment of recognition.
From the Inside Flap
Illus. in color. A baby bird is hatched while his mother is away. Fallen from his nest, he sets out to look for her and asks everyone he meets -- including a dog, a cow, and a plane -- "Are you my mother?"
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Suppose the reason I'm giving this 4 stars is because I do think that - given its brevity and very simple words - it'd be a good little (and I do mean little at 5-3/4" x 4-1/4"x 1/2 thick) book for tiny hands to turn by themselves, with thick coated pages that are forgiving of occasionally sticky little fingers. Would be a nice little piece of reading material for a child just learning to read. It's my own fault, and I'll be ordering the hardback as well, but maybe you'd like to know exactly how it reads before making a decision for yourself:
"A mother bird sat on her egg. The egg jumped. 'I must get something for my baby bird to eat!' she said. So away she went. Inside the nest, the egg jumped. It jumped and jumped and jumped. Until......out came a baby bird! 'Where is my mother?' he said. He did not see her anywhere. 'I will go and look for her,' he said. Out of the nest he went. Down, down, down! Plop! The baby bird could not fly. But he could walk. 'Now I will go and find my mother,' he said. 'Are you my mother?' the baby bird asked a kitten. The kitten just looked and looked. It did not say a thing. 'Are you my mother?' the baby bird asked a hen. 'No,' said the hen. 'Are you my mother?' the baby bird asked a dog. 'I am not your mother. I am a dog,' said the dog. 'Are you my mother?' the baby bird asked a cow. 'How could I be your mother?' said the cow. 'I am a cow.' The baby bird stopped to think. The kitten and the hen were not his mother. The dog and the cow were not his mother. 'I have a mother,' said the baby bird. 'I know I do. I will find her. I will. I WILL!' Just then the baby bird saw a big thing." (A power shovel.) "YOU are my mother!' he said. The big thing said, 'SNORT!' 'Oh no!' said the baby bird. 'You are not my mother. You are a scary snort!' The Snort lifted the baby bird up, up, up. Then something happened. The Snort put the baby bird right back in the tree. The baby bird was home! Just then the mother bird came back. 'I know who YOU are,' said the baby bird. 'You are not a kitten or a hen or a dog. You are not a cow or a Snort! You are a bird, and you are my mother!' "
So you can decide for yourself if this is what you're looking for.
I just bought another copy- for my first grandchild!!
Top international reviews
While it isn't very colourful, the illustrations and the story are very simple for a toddler to understand.