Your mother didn't do that! by Sharon Holt

cover image

Ill. by Brian Lovelock. Walker Books, 2009. ISBN 9781921150173.
(Age 3-7) Holly is unhappy when her mother has to go out, but Dad consoles her with a bedtime story about the night she was born. When Holly asks if she was hatched out of an egg, Dad tells her that a hen would have fluffed up her feathers to protect her and her mother didn't do that. Holly follows with questions about what would have happened to her if her mother were a kitten, an owl, a shark, a kangaroo and a seahorse. She discovers how mothers look after their babies and learns that her mother held her 'close to her heart and cried and cried' with happiness.
Children will have fun predicting just how different animals look after their babies and will enjoy the humour of the text, especially how sharks eat their some of their babies for dinner and a father seahorse keeps his baby in his belly.
The warmth and love depicted between Holly and her father and mother jumps out of the page both from the text and the illustrations, which are delightful. Luscious greens, yellows and blues provide a background to engaging pictures of Holly and her Dad imagining the bond between different mothers.
This is a lovely book, not just for bedtime or read aloud, but it would be useful when studying baby animals, or family relations.
Pat Pledger