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A Mother for Choco

Press:Putnam Pub Group G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; Brdbk edition (September 29, 2003)
Publication Date:2003-9
Author Name:Kasza, Keiko


Family is about love no matter how different parents and children may be, adopted or not.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. 

From Kirkus Reviews

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) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The message is warm and reassuring, particularly to adoptees, stepkids, and other children who for various reasons don't resemble their caretakers." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books"Just right for the preschool group or beginning reader." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review"Cheerful, energetic . 
An excellent choice for storytime." --School Library Journal, starred review"A profound message, endearingly and subtly delivered.
An ideal choice for adopted or foster children." --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Keiko Kasza was born on a small Japanese island in the Inland Sea of Japan. 
She grew up in a typical Japanese extended family with her parents, two brothers, and grandparents.
Uncles, aunts, and cousins also lived nearby.
"All the steps I took growing up were very normal," Ms.
Kasza says.
"The only unusual thing I did was go to college in the United States." She graduated with a degree in graphic design from California State University at Northridge.
Kasza married an American, and the United States has been her home ever since.After publishing five children's books in Japan and working as a graphic designer for fourteen years, Ms.
Kasza decided in 1988 to devote her time to picture books.
She says, "Having two small boys and two professions was too much to handle."Ms.
Kasza admires many great picture-book creators, such as Leo Lionni and Maurice Sendak, but says that the work of Arnold Lobel has influenced her the most.
The subtle humor and warmth he created in his books continues to inspire me," she says.
"I often go back to his work when I get discouraged or lose confidence."Ms.
Kasza compares the process of making a book to acting on stage under the lights:"I become the character that I'm working on at that moment.
I pretend that I'm a bird looking for a mother, or a pig trying to impress his girlfriend.
When I'm acting, I'm a child myself."Ms.
Kasza's ambition is not to create a hundred books, but to "create one really good book that will be kept on the family bookshelves for generations, although a hundred really good books would be even better, of course!"Keiko Kasza lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons.copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.
All rights reserved.


Children's Books,Growing Up & Facts of Life,Family Life,Adoption,Parents,Animals

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Comment List (Total:18)

  •     Love the story. The name is awkward however. As it's kind of a classic, guess that isn't going to change. It does distract a little from the story I notice both kids and adults. I finally just changed it as she can't read yet anyway.Positive story on adoption and/or blended families.

  •     I joined my family in 1996, the same year this book was published. I can speak from 20 years of loving and having this book that it is a very special story to carry with me...

  •     I LOOOOVE this book!!! The only downside is that I get all teary-eyed when I read this story to my own "Chocos".

  •     I love all Keiko Kasza books; however, this is my favorite. Great message!

  •     Love that it opens up discussion with the child. My daughter is very sensitive to anything sad so one part got to her but the book quickly moved to happiness.

  •     Terrific adoption book, quick transaction

  •     LOVE....LOVE....LOVE this book!!!! This is the BEST book ever to help introduce young children to the topic of adoption. I adopted my son when he was just 12 months old and I wanted he to become familiar with what adoption was and understand that being adopted was a GREAT!!!!! I want to always have an open and honest relationship with my son. I want him to able to come to me and ask ANY questions he has about his adoption. It is very important to me that my son ask me about adoption and all the particular in's and out's of his adoption. All adoptions are unique and I wanted my son to grab his story and feel good about his past as well as his future!!! HIGHLY recommended to anyone who is blessed to have adopted a child!!! Five Stars!!!

  •     I bought this book for my daughter many years ago. This is one book I saved. I used to make up different voices for all the characters while I read it to her. She loved it.

  •     I love this book, but was disappointed in the shape that it came in. It was for a gift, but looked as though it was used because the top was distorted and didn't even shut...

  •     The cardboard issue is a darling addition at bedtime.

  •     A great story to help along the conversation about and comfort with adoption. No religion or destiny, just a loving mama bear who cares for all her babies and has room in her...

  •     As someone adopted, I have very fond memories of my mom reading me this book as a child. This book had such an impact on me that once I became a therapist working with children this was the first book that I added to my library of bibliotherapeutic literature. Reading it as an adult, the book still moves me to tears. I am that big-cheeked little bird and I could not be more grateful for my wonderful mama bear.

  •     We wanted to teach our Korean born son very early about the nature of adopted families. We wished to impress on him from the start that families are people who live together and love each other, not just those who look like each other. There are very, very few toddler friendly books on the topic of inter-racial adoption, and this one is simply excellent. It uses simple language and cute pictures that any young child will enjoy.(It's also a great book to give your children's friends as gifts to help them understand why their buddy looks different.) After three years with this book, I still can't read it out loud to my son without crying at the end! If you're still looking for another book, I also highly suggest "Horace".

  •     A really cute story! My 3 y.o. loved having it read to him. Highly recommended, but wish it was also offered in hardcover. Hope the paperback holds up. I think we will be reading this a lot!

  •     I love this book, it is one of a couple books I bought to read to my son, who is adopted, to help normalize the idea to him that it's ok to have members of the family looking very different, that what matters most is the love that's there. I found that especially meaningful because it was important to me that he start to feel that in a non-racially charged way, because the day we adopted him, our family became bi-racial, and while I know there will be people who have opinions on that and will share that with him, and may even share that with us, to me, none of that has ever mattered. The day he was placed in my arms and every day since all I have ever felt for him is the deepest of loves, and I love that this book provides a foundation for giving voice to that kind of acceptance.

  •     This is one of our favorite adoption books - and I have used it in therapy with adults who have had less than positive experiences in their (biological) family of origin as well. My son says he likes that it says that your mom does not have to be just like you. The story works wonderfully for a family with a single mother. It also emphasizes the gentle, nurturing role of the mother. This one is an all time favorite and I know we aren’t the only ones who think so.

  •     Great story to help young children understand that it's okay to have parents that don't look like you. The little bird ends up being "adopted" by Mrs. Bear, who doesn't look like him, but clearly loves him. After reading this book several times to our 4 yr old adopted daughter from China, she turned to me and said "just like I don't look like you.." and I said yes, but I'm your mother and I love you. She gets it and I'm sure your child will, too.

  •     Love this book for our little boy. Love the illustrations and is a great book to add in your adoption book library.


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