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Library Book: 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.
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
A mother bird is sitting on her egg one day, when she realizes that the baby will be hungry when it hatches. She goes off to find food, and shortly after, a baby bird is born. The baby falls out of its nest and begins to search for its mother, which is kind of tough since it doesn't know what she looks like, and doesn't know that it's a bird either. The baby wanders around asking different animals if they're the mother or not, and always gets a 'no'. It eventually sees vehicles like a boat, thinking it could possibly be the mother too. In the end, the baby bird finds a power shovel and asks the construction vehicle 'are you my mother?' too. The power shovel can't answer, but lets out a loud 'SNORT!'. The baby bird finally gets that this isn't its mother, but somehow, the shovel ends up carrying the bird back to its nest, and the mother arrives immediately with food.
This is a cute book and within the first couple of pages has something most kids will react to- the baby bird walking past a rock that its mother is behind. This is the kind of thing that would've made me go 'she's right there!', and sure enough, my daughter said it herself. The little bird has a long journey trying to find its mother, and when it does, it realizes what she is after listing everything she's not. My daughter got a kick out of the power shovel being called a Snort, and has been using that word a lot ever since I read this to her. The artwork is minimal but nice. My only nitpick is that the author kept using 'said' instead of 'asked' when the baby bird would ask the different animals and things if they were its mother. That just seemed weird to me, but doesn't matter much.
Give this one a shot if you haven't yet, and don't worry about any objectionable content.