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Who Is Your Favorite Mom in a Children's Book?

on Fri, 05/03/2013 - 09:24


Children’s books are full of moms.  Duck moms, rabbit moms, bear moms, and of course, human moms. Mother Bear from the Little Bear books is one of my favorite moms in a children's book. Yes she does what’s expected of a mom, offering lunch, surprising her birthday bear with a birthday cake after birthday soup doesn't work out so well, and kissing Little Bear goodnight—but that’s not why I love her. I love her because she lets Little Bear explore, discover, and learn on his own. She lets him put on more and more clothing when playing in the snow even though he already had what he needed all along—his thick coat of fur. She plays along when he pretends he’s landed on the moon. She doesn’t say, “Oh you’re just imagining. We're still here on earth. Now lets have lunch.” Instead she says, “I have a little bear just like you on earth.” Then, still pretending she’s a moon bear mom, she serves him lunch.  Now that’s a great mom.

Tell us about your favorite mom in a children’s book.



Asking me for a favorite children’s book, even when narrowing it to a single theme, is like asking me who is my favorite child. That said, I have always loved the mothers in the following books:   The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown: No matter where the young bunny travels or wanders, his mother assures him that she will find him. The imaginative play between mother and child has always been profoundly comforting to young readers. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf: Ferdinand does not like to fight like all the other bulls. His mom encourages him to fight, not so that he will be like everyone else but because she does not want him to be lonely. Eventually, she understands he’s happier smelling flowers than fighting with the other bulls. “His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy.” A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams: I have always admired this hard working single mother—a waitress during the day and a loving albeit tired mother at night. She looks out for her daughter’s safety. She admires nature and shares that with her daughter but also tries to take care of herself. They save money for something they can share—a comfortable chair to enjoy after a hard day on her feet, but one that is big enough for both mother and daughter at the same time. Alligator Boy by Cynthia Rylant: A young lad becomes an “alligator boy” and wants to stay in character all day and all night. At first his mother worries that something is really wrong and consults a doctor. Once she gets the professional OK, she not only accepts but embraces his alligatorness. This book is near and dear to my own experience. When my now 29-year-old son was 2 years old, he became Ruffy the dog. I too struggled with how much to go along with this new addition to our family. In public, his 6-year-old sister would cringe with embarrassment when he would go down on all fours. I only hope I handled it with half the aplomb that all these other mothers have exhibited in these books. _______________________________________________________________________________ Isabel Baker MAT, MLS, is president of The Book Vine for Children, a national company dedicated to getting good books into the hands of preschool children and their teachers. Isabel has worked as a children’s librarian and is currently a presenter on early literacy and book selection.

Even though I can't read it aloud without tearing up, I've always loved "I'll Love You Forever" and the sweet line, Softly she sings to him: "I'll love you forever I'll like you for always As long as I'm living My baby you'll be." I do think it captures that never-ending quality of a mother's love that we wish for all children!

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