One night last week, my two year old wouldn’t go to sleep. To prevent her from waking up her very tired four year old sister (with whom she shares a room), I took her into my room, brought a stack of books, and snuggled and read with her for a bit. It didn’t help with bedtime, but it was really nice, and it gave me a chance to pick out some books we hadn’t read in awhile.
One of those books was Are You My Mother? (Beginner Books) by P.D. Eastman. We got this book as a baby shower gift before our oldest was born, so I’ve read it bunches of times over the past four and a half years and even heard it at a few library or bookstore story times. Basically, it’s the story of a baby bird who goes looking for his mother, as she wasn’t in the nest when he hatched because she was out getting food for him. He encounters other animals as well as cars, boats, etc., asking each, “Are you my mother?” before he reunites with his mother in the nest. I have to say that until this week, I was generally indifferent to it. I thought it was a good enough story, and fun to read every once in awhile, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. Actually, I think I had an annoying association in my mind from a Barnes and Noble story time I went to a few years ago – every time I read the book, I pictured the woman from the story time and heard the story in her voice. Annoying. Plus, I thought it was awkward to read with a lot of repetition and an irritating lack of contractions.
In the past week, though, my opinion has changed a lot. My two year old LOVES it. She calls it “the bird book” and asks for me to read it on a daily basis. She even “read” it to her dad today 🙂 Reading it with her has reminded me of how into the story my four year old was when she was younger. There is something really appealing to little ones about the story – they get emotionally invested in the baby bird’s quest for his mother, and it’s really endearing.
Outside of the story line, I hadn’t realized what a great book this is for new readers. My four year old can read – though not unexpected from her, it’s pretty amazing. It just blew me away to hear her read the majority of the story aloud just the other night. Listening to her and helping her with new words, I realized how wonderful the aforementioned “annoying” repetition and lack of contractions actually are for her. This may seem obvious to some of you, but hey, I’m new at this.
Anyway, I highly recommend Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. It’s a great story for little ones as young as two, and it’s a good one to pull out for those preschoolers or kindergartners learning to read. So, five stars!
Buy the book: Are You My Mother? (Beginner Books)
Rating: 5 stars!