May 11 – Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day in the United States is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. In many European countries it is celebrated on the first Sunday of May. It is usually celebrated in the spring of the year and so for countries in the southern hemisphere it is often celebrated in October. Mother’s Day was made an American national holiday in 1914.

Mother’s are often treated to breakfast in bed, flowers, cards, and candy. Many mothers enjoy lunch or dinner out, or a family gathering where she is the guest of honor and does no cooking, cleaning, or housework. What will you be doing to celebrate Mother’s Day?

In children’s literature, mothers play a predominant role whether the child is human or animal. Below are several favorites featuring ‘mother’.

197084Are You My Mother? written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman (1960) is a simple story of a baby bird who hatches while his mother is away. He leaves the nest asking everyone he meets ‘Are you my mother?’ until at last he is reunited with his mother.


A Chair for My Mother written and illustrated by Vera B. Williams (1982) was a Caldacott Honor book. It tells the story of Rosa, her mother, and her grandmother who lose everything they owned to an apartment fire. Rosa’s mother saves all the tips she earns at the diner to buy a new chair for the family.


Lullaby written by poet Langston Hughes and illustrated by Sean Qualls (2013) is a beautiful poem celebrating the love between a child and his mother. It is written specifically for an African American mother and child (Langston Hughes and his mother) using descriptive words like ‘dark little baby’ but the love and tenderness is universal and transcends race or culture.


Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? written and illustrated by Eric Carle (2000) describes many mother and child relationships in the animal world.

In Our Mothers’ House written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco (2009) is a story of two mothers raising their multicultural family together in a big beautiful house full of love.

15791053Mommy! Mommy! written and illustrated by Taro Gomi (2013) is a story about two baby chicks searching for their mother hen around the barnyard. Every time they think they have found their mother it turns out to be something else, until finally they do find their mother.

17072246A Mom for Umande written by Maria Fasal Faulconer and illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung (2013) is a true story of a baby gorilla who is abandoned by his birth mother and is adopted by another female gorilla.

To read a full review of A Mom for Umande with photos of Umande and additional information about another lowland gorilla adoption at the Cincinnati Zoo, please take a look at my post below.

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