Allison's Book Bag

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

Posted on: September 27, 2012

Cover of "A Mother for Choco (Paperstar)&...

Cover of A Mother for Choco (Paperstar)

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza is about a yellow chick with striped feet who lives alone and so heads out into the big wide world to find his mom. Along the way, Choco stops several times to ask animals: “Are you my mother?”

If this story feels familiar to you, that’s probably because it resembles Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. In Eastman’s picture book, a mother bird leaves her nest to find food for her hatching eggs. In her absence, one of her baby birds hatches and starts to wonder who his mother is. He too heads out into the big wide world to find his mom. Along the way, the nameless bird stops several times to ask animals and objects: “Are you my mother?”

Although A Mother for Choco has appeared on more than one adoption list, I have a few complaints with it. Foremost is that except for the adoption twist, the story has been already beautifully done by P.D. Eastman. Aside from the partial rip-off, I don’t care for the fact that Choco looks only for his mother. Where is the adoptive father? I also don’t like the idea that Choco heads out on his own seeks to find a mom. Where are the protective adults who ensure that Choco finds the right mom? Yeah, I realize I’m being overly serious for a picture book, but I’m also envisioning the types of questions I might have to answer.

Those criticisms aside, I actually liked the adoption twist. The mother whom Choco finds is perfect. In addition, the characters are endearing and I enjoyed getting to know them. Choco is a charming chick and his mom is the type everyone should have.

From the reviews on Amazon, A Mother for Choco seems like a huge hit with children who are adopted. I understand the appeal. Are You My Mother? was one of my favorite books growing up. The bird’s feeling of loss and intense need to find his mom connected strongly with me, because when I was about four my mom died. Somehow the fact that this bird found his mom in the end reassured me, even if my mom was forever gone to me. So I can understand that, because Choco both seeks for and finds someone who can be his mom, many adopted children will relate to Choco.

My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.

How would you rate this book?

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