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Are You My Mother? is a children's book by P. D. Eastman published by Random House Books for Young Readers on June 12, 1960 as part of its Beginner Books series. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children." It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.

Plot summary Edit

Are You My Mother? is the story about a hatchling bird. His mother, thinking her egg will stay in her nest where she left it, leaves her egg alone and flies off to find food. The baby bird hatches. He does not understand where his mother is so he goes to look for her. As he lacks the ability to fly, he walks, and in his search, he asks a kitten, a hen, a dog, and a cow if they are his mother, but none of them are.

Refusing to give up, he sees an old car, which he realizes certainly cannot be his mother. In desperation, the hatchling calls out to a boat and a plane (neither responds), and at last, climbs onto the teeth of an enormous power shovel. It belches "SNORT" from its exhaust stack, prompting the bird to cry, "You are not my mother! You are a Snort!" As the machine shudders and grinds into motion, he cannot escape. "I want my mother!" he shouts.

At that moment, the Snort drops the hatchling into his nest, and his mother returns. The two are reunited, much to their delight, and the baby bird recounts to his mother the adventures he had looking for her.

Adaptions Edit

On August 13, 1991, Are You My Mother? was part of the Beginner Book Video series, directed and produced by Ray Messecar. The cast included Ardys Flavelle, Merwin Goldsmith, Marian Hailey, Ron Marshall, Brendon Parry and Jim Thurman.

ArtsPower National Touring Theatre created an hour-long musical performance based on the book geared for children grades K-2, with music by Richard DeRosa.

Translations Edit

  • Spanish: Eres tu mi mama? (Bilingual)
  • French: Es tu ma maman? (Bilingual)

Trivia Edit

  • This is the first Beginner Book where the title ends in a question mark.
  • This is the second Beginner Book written by P.D. Eastman, the first being Sam and the Firefly.
  • Due to this book having a 100-word vocabulary, Eastman refers the power shovel as the "big thing", before it goes "SNORT!"