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IS YOUR MAMA A LLAMA?

Author: Deborah Guarino

Illustrator: Steven Kellogg

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Publisher: Scholastic Inc.,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Lloyd the baby llama asks different animals if their Mama is a llama. He asks duck, cow, and seal. They give him hints of what their mom looks like. The hints help him see that their mom is not his mom. In the end he does find his mama llama. This is a rhyming picture book for toddlers through kindergartners.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 4; read yourself: 5 to 7

Interest Level: 1 to 6

Reading Level: 0.7

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl (family 1). Also read with two boys, ages 3 and 5 (family 2).

Young Reader Reaction: Family 1: My daughter liked that the llama talked to all the different animals. She said they were cute, and she liked how each animal described what their mother looked like. She especially liked when he found his mother.
Family 2: My sons enjoyed trying to guess what the animal’s mother was. My 3-year old is very into animals, so this was a natural book for him to love. This was probably his favorite one in the stack.

Adult Reader Reaction: family 1: I was surprised she liked it but was glad when she smiled and was happy when he finally finds his mother. I enjoyed that the llama asking the questions helped my daughter learn about other animals without realizing it.
family 2: Yes, I loved this book. The rhyming is fun, and is a great way to introduce the FUN and PLEASURE of reading to small children. I love that some of the animals are not “standard” first children’s book animals (cat, dog, horse, cow, chicken), so my children were exposed to some new (but not too obscure) animals. And I SOOO appreciate that they showed a very loving relationship between mother and young, which reinforces my own relationship with my children — a very safe and loving book to read to tender-hearted little people! I could tell from the colorful illustrations and fun words that my sons would love it. I was a little surprised (delightfully!) that my sons loved it SOOO much and wanted to read it again and again, and I was surprised at how much my older son (age 5) was into it — it was a small board book, and not very long, but I found he LOVED the excitement of figuring out what the animal was before I turned the page and revealed the word.

Pros: This is an easy, fun book to share. It is an entertaining way to teach kids about animals. It is a loving story, with fun rhymes and illustrations. It also exposes kids to new animals.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a fun book to share, and libraries should definitely have this book. Family 2 adds: It is a wonderful book that I would recommend as a first book for young toddlers or even babies.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Hush Little Ones, by John Butler TIME FOR BED   ARE YOU MY MOTHER?   BARN CAT: A COUNTING BOOK

Educational Themes: This is a book for introducing animals, and it lets you show how babies don't always look like their parent. (i.e. cygnets have different coloring than swans)

Notes: This book is also available in Spanish and as a board book edition.
The author donated a signed copy of this book to the Reading Tub during Book Expo America 2009.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, rhyme

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009, September 2010

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