You're Not My Real Mother!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her first book, literary agent Friedrich takes on a hot-button topic for adoptive parents and children and offers a sensitive response to an inevitable declaration. "You know, Mom, you're not my real mother," a pigtailed Asian girl, looking wistfully in a mirror, tells her blonde mommy. Writing from direct experience, Friedrich crafts a thoughtful dialogue between mother and daughter that probes what "real" can mean. "Does a real mother teach you the alphabet and how to count to a hundred by tens?" the mother asks. "And does a real mother love you, hug you, smother you with kisses...?" The book's high point comes when the mother addresses the loaded question, "But why don't you look like me?" Her answer, loving but honest, bolsters the girl's confidence, and the narrative voice switches as the child lists all the ways her mother makes her happy ("You jump with me on the trampoline!"). Hale's (the Elizabeti books) emotive if occasionally inconsistent portraits of the girl engaged in everyday activities with her mother-brushing teeth, cooking dinner-underscore the duo's close connection, and the pages thrum with joy (the ebullient family dog also adds a dash of humor). With its love-builds-a-family message, this book is a good conversation starter and a reassuring read for adoptive children, especially in multiracial families. Ages 3-6. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What happens when an adopted child realizes she does not look like her mother or anyone else in her family? What does a mother say to a child who tells her, "You know, Mom, you're not my real mother...." Even though parents may have been counseled that this question is inevitable, they may be unprepared at the time and place it is uttered. Here is a great book to help adoptive families grapple with this issue. The title may shock, but it screams out what the child is thinking. Soft and sweet illustrations aid the text in communicating the warmth and love between parent and child. In the first half of the book, the blond, blue-eyed mother reassures her daughter that she is, indeed, the child's "real" mom. She asks a series of questions beginning with, "Does a real mother . . . [help you, let you, drive you, teach you, hug you, etc.]. Midway through the book, the brown-eyed, black-haired child states, "I know you love me, Mom. But why don't you look like me?" The response is simple and poignant. In the second half of the book, the child expresses the ways in which her "real" mother watches her grow. The child has gotten the mother's message—that her real mother is there for her day after day, week after week, year after year. The book ends with smiles and hugs and the child telling her mother emphatically that she is her "REAL MOTHER!" This book is an excellent choice for all adoptive families, and specifically, for multi-ethnic families. 2004, Little Brown and Company, Ages 4 to 9.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-An adoptive mother tells her daughter all of the reasons why she is a "real mother," even though they do not look alike-"does a real mother drive to Parker's house to pick up Polar Bear [her stuffed animal] when you've left him there?" Page after page of heartwarming examples are presented as the parent and child are portrayed in large, realistic-looking, mixed-media illustrations. One spread shows them frolicking on a trampoline surrounded by yellow forsythia bushes; the girl's happiness is clearly expressed on her face and the mother seems to be jumping right off the page. Adoptive parents will welcome another chance to show their love through the sharing of this cheerful book.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316605533
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.25 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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