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A mother for Choco
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Trade Reviews

  School Library Journal Review

PreS-K --Fans of Kasza's previous picture books will welcome this latest effort. Cheerful, energetic illustrations decorate the simple but charming taleof a youngster's search for a loving parent. A chubby-faced yellow bird with blue-striped feet, Choco believes that physical similarity is a prerequisite for family relationships. He asks a series of animals who bear even the slightest resemblance to him if they might be his mother, but all turn him away. Discouraged by their rejection, Choco is pleasantly surprised when Mrs. Bear takes an interest in him, plays with and cuddles him, and ultimately offers him a home. The presence of other ``adoptees'' is made obvious as a young alligator, hippopotamus, and pig welcome Choco into his new family. The endearing watercolor paintings are bold and bright enough to appeal to the very youngest listeners, and there is a wealth of character and personality evident in the animals' expressions. These pictures, along with the minimal, repetitive text, make this an excellent choice for storytime use. The emphasis on caring and sharing despite superficial differences will surely find a wide audience. A multicultural message may also be read into this satisfying story with appealing illustrations and a very happy ending. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Ages 2-6. Choco, a little bird who lives alone, longs for a mother and sets off to find one. He approaches one animal after another, asking, "Are you my mother?" Sound familiar? So far it's like Palmer's Are You My Mother? (1966), but here comes the twist. Choco breaks down and sobs because "he couldn't find a mother who looked just like him." However, a motherly bear hears him crying, decides to adopt him, and takes him home to meet his new siblings: Hippy (the hippopotamus), Ally (the alligator), and Piggy (yep). They don't look alike, but they're a happy family. While the watercolor artwork is somewhat unpolished, it has a bright charm and friendly appeal. This is a message book, but the message is one that many adoptive parents will want to share with their children. ~--Carolyn Phelan

  Horn Book Review

Choco, a lonely little bird, searches for a mother. Many animals deny any connection with him because they don't have his wings, big round cheeks, or striped feet, but Mrs. Bear proves to be his idea of the perfect mother. The reassuring story, with its large, amusing watercolors, will charm young readers. From HORN BOOK 1992, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

The talented creator of The Wolf's Chicken Stew (1987 ALA Notable) provides a warmhearted contemporary surprise ending for the time-honored formula of a little creature searching the animal kingdom for its appropriate mother. Choco, a small yellow bird with a big blue bill, tries a giraffe (she has no wings, she says), a penguin (no ``big round cheeks''), and a walrus, but no one seems to look just like him. Comfortable Mrs. Bear is wiser: ``If you had a mommy, what would she do?'' And since she's quite able to hold him and kiss him, regardless of appearances, he's soon the new member of her happy family--joining the little pig, hippo, and alligator already in her affectionate brood. The timely point is hardly subtle, but it's made with notable good humor, especially in Kasza's marvelous animal caricatures of comically human states of mind. Just right for the preschool group or beginning reader. (Picture book. 3-7)
Choco wishes he had a mother, but who could she be? He sets off to find her, asking all kinds of animals, but he doesn't meet anyone who looks just like him. He doesn't even think of asking Mrs. Bear if she's his mother-but then she starts to do just the things a mommy might do. And when she brings him home, he meets her other children-a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator-and learns that families can come in all shapes and sizes and still fit together. Keiko Kasza's twist on the "Are you my mother?" theme has become one of the most highly recommended stories about adoption for children.
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