Archive for the ‘Children’s Book’ Category

Are You My Mother?

P.D. Eastman

I have often felt like the little bird in “Are You My Mother” during my adult life. We all know the story line by heart:  A Mama Bird leaves to get her almost-hatched baby bird some food. While she’s gone, he hatches and is anxious to find his mother. He falls out of the nest, onto the ground and begins walking along asking every animal (and one bucket-loading snort) that he comes across, “Are You My Mother?”

“No,” said the kitten. “I’m not your mother.”

“No, I’m not your mother,” said the hen.

And so forth.

To a toddler reading the book, it’s apparently supposed to be comical that a bird thinks other animals might be his mother.

Imposing my adult sensibilities on the little plot, I’ve always found it to be rather agonizing.

And when I say I’ve felt like this little bird as an adult, I don’t mean I’ve been on a desperate quest to find my literal Mother.  My mom and I are like sisters, friends and mother-daughter all in one close relationship. I am not searching for her in any way.

The little bird feeling that I’m talking about has applied to my post first love, pre-marriage dating years and figuring out what I’m supposed to be when I grow up — including what kind of mother.  On the relationship front, for years and years I was looking for the perfect bird and kept dating dogs.

“Are you my soul mate?”

“No, I’m not your soul mate. I’m a dog,” said the dog.

In tandem with the life mate quest was the life purpose quest.

“Are You My Life Purpose?”


“Are You My Life Purpose?”

“No.” (more…)

Posted in Children's Book, Mama Self Expression, Sweet Songs | 8 Comments

Mama Bear, Mama Bear, What Do You See?

I see laundry looking at me.

Laundry, Laundry, what do you see?

I see a dirty floor looking at me.

Dirty floor, dirty floor, what do you see?

I see unpaid bills looking at me.

Bills, bills, what do you see?

I see deadlines looking at me.

Deadlines, deadlines, what do you see?

I see crazy no sleep looking at me.

Crazy sleep, Crazy sleep, what do you see?

I see a grumpy house looking at me.

Grumpy house, grumpy house, what do you see?

Hmmmm.  I feel a spiral happening here.  What could I choose to see in this moment if I look carefully or focus my attention elsewhere? Quite literally…..choosing to look up and around….trying again:

Mama Bear, Mama Bear, What Do You See?

I see…

A red rose bush blooming

A blue sky with stretchy cotton clouds

A green tree dancing in the Spring breeze

A brown bird taking care of business

A black and white photo of Love


An orange Fortuna Goddess card

looking at me.

This card that’s one of 100 things spread out on my desk currently that I haven’t made time to sort through just caught my attention.  Flipped it over and here’s what it read:

“The Roman Goddess Fortuna was the same as as an earlier Italian goddess who presided over the earth’s abundance and controlled the destiny of all human beings. Her name, derived from Vortumna, ‘she who turns the year about,’ came to symbolize the capriciousness of life and luck, the vagaries of fate as the wheel of life turns around. Fortuna gives us a way to approach the ups and downs of life, a perspective that can offer us some equanimity as we proceed on our journey.”

Ah yes.  Thank you Universe.  Thank you for reminding me how it works.  I get it.  Some days.  And I may play this game for the rest of my life while I work through my solidly human foibles.

Just in case you haven’t come across this little gem of a children’s book, my ramblings today come from adapting the Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle best-seller, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.”  Animal illustrations above are from Carle.

Posted in Children's Book, Mama Self Expression | 5 Comments

In Loving Memory of Andrea Burden, 10/10/69 – 12/05/09

andreaburdenI am still trying to comprehend the tragic news of Andrea Burden dying last night.  The beautifully talented artist that designed my sweet, magical Attachment Mama banner left this world 48 hours after being diagnosed with bacterial meningitas. I loved her artistic expression and was so thrilled to have her design my site. I also loved her way of being. She was so generous with her gift and her kindness and her support of me and other women in their creative aspirations.

The first time I saw one of her paintings I gasped. I remember vividly the experience of seeing it hanging at Ararat, a groovy middle eastern restaurant in Austin. I felt like I was witnessing pure Spirit on canvas. Her ability to capture the divinity within her subjects was like nothing I’d ever seen.  Profoundly beautiful work.  Please take a minute to peruse the paintings on her web site and experience them for yourself.

Andrea was also the illustrator for a series of children’s books called The Fairy Godmother Academy.

My heart breaks for her family. Andrea was mother to two beautiful girls, Bella and Indira. She and I both had the same midwife, GB Khalsa. My heart aches for her girls. Her partner. Her family. And for her, though I know every Spirit that transitions seems to reassure loved ones in one way or another that they “are at peace”.  I freak out at the thought of leaving this planet before my daughters are adults. If this middle-of-the-night thought or the much, much worse panicked thought of anything happening to them floats into my mind I have to practice the conscious language suggestion of repeating “cancel clear, cancel clear, cancel clear” until it’s gone and I replace it with, “We’re all here; everyone’s healthy and happy; we’re together; thank You for this beautiful Life we share.”

I’m reminded just how precious life is today.

Posted in Andrea Burden, Children's Book | 1 Comment

Shine On Rainbow Fish!

rainbow_fishFans of Marcus Pfister’s The Rainbow Fish story, I know why you like it. This story has been our water-proof bath time story since my oldest daughter was a baby. It’s a cute, simple story about sharing with beautiful drawings. Totally innocuous and sweet in many ways.

In fact, the aesthetic appeal has been significant enough for me, that in my solidly sleep-deprived state of mind the last three years, I didn’t give it a second thought. Only recently have I gotten more reflective about the content of all the children’s books on the shelf as my 3 year-old asks more and more thoughtful questions about each story that we read.  There are a few books that I just flat-out don’t dig the message and would like to stash the books away for a few years and bring back out when my girls are older and we can discuss them intellectually together.  I am not at all advocating any semblance of “book banning”.  Far from it. But because we’re dealing with HIGHLY absorbent little minds between the ages of 2 and 6 and as parents, I think it makes all kinds of sense to be selective about what you choose to read during this time.

On my “stash away for later” list includes any book that refers to a character or characters as being “bad” and scary fairy tales in which characters are punished.  I’m undecided about The Rainbow Fish.  I’m flushing my thoughts out about it here.

The most heated criticism about The Rainbow Fish comes from Americans that are phobic of possible socialist and — heaven forbid — communist messages around sharing wealth.  I read another blog article today in which the author quoted Amazon reviews of the story that were crazy ridiculous. “Communist propaganda?”  Come on!

So what if the author leans in either direction politically and this is part of his moral message?  I don’t have a problem with a message to children that says, “If you have a lot of something and the people around you have none, consider sharing.”

If I could rewrite The Rainbow Fish story about the benefit of sharing, I’d make it about a fish who had a lot of food and chose to share it with other fish who had none.  But that would just be in-your-face socialist messaging, right? I guess because I have an appreciation for the principles of both capitalism and socialism, I have no problem exposing my children to learning about either.

So here’s my REAL problem with the story.  To me it reads — quite literally — if you are shiny and beautiful, people will not want to be your friends.  You must diminish yourself in some way so that others will like you. If you’re a peacock, strip off your feathers and give them to the grackles. You’ll be much happier! Really??

Playing small so that others will feel comfortable around you is NOT the message I want to send my girls. Peacocks were given beautiful feathers. Fan them proudly I say!  Grackles were given…..hmmmm…well…they must be good for something.  Ah yes. Grackles were given a loud voice to make all other living beings remember that they’re alive.  Squawk on sisters!

The famous Marianne Williamson quote comes to mind as the antithesis of The Rainbow Fish story.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

If anyone knows of some great stories for children that include this message, please send the titles my way.  An Awesome Book is my latest find and I love it.

Live Big and Shine On friends.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Children's Book | 2 Comments


  • You are currently browsing the archives for the Children’s Book category.

  • Categories



    Follow Me



    Places to go


Art by Erika Hastings at


    Add us to your site!


Click to get the code!