“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman is an old standby and was quite popular with our oldest when she was a little girl. When we pulled that title from the envelope tonight, we were reminded of a happy byproduct of our 365 project – it has prompted us to hunt down some of our old favorites, so that we can share them all over again.
Just like her sister before her, our youngest was enthralled by this story of a newborn bird who, upon hatching from his egg in an empty nest, embarks on a quest to find his mother. The text presents multiple invitations to interact with the listeners as the little bird stops to question a kitten, a chicken, a dog, a cow, and even himself as he passes an old car…”Could that…be his mother?” Eventually, he lands on an excavator which, to the delight of young and old alike, he refers to as a “snort”. The “snort” deposits him safely back in his nest, just in time for his mother to return with his first meal. Our youngest was visibly happy for our fine feathered hero when he finally found his mother; she asked to read it again, and then just took the book and started “reading” it herself.
The version we shared tonight was bilingual – written in English and Spanish. We have quite a few of these books around the house, and have found that they have a shelf life several years longer than the English-only version. They are great for young learners as they take a familiar story and put the English and Spanish words right next to each other – it’s a welcoming, familiar way to practice a new language.