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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 27 April 2010
Reviewed by Breastfeeding Mums Blog

How do you go about explaining breastfeeding to your children? At best it can be a little awkward, and very often new moms wait until the new baby is born before approaching the subject with older siblings.

However, help is at hand...

I was recently asked to review the most delightful little book, Mama's Milk, written by Michael Elsohn Ross and illustrated by Ashley Wolff. Now, given that in my pre-baby days I was an English teacher and I often asked my pupils to write book reviews for me, it seemed at first a little odd to be the one writing the review, but to be honest I was quite honoured to oblige as book reviewing is something I have often wondered about.

So what did I make of Mama's Milk?

Written by Michael Elsohn Ross, a naturalist and environmental educator, the aptly entitled Mama's Milk is the perfect introduction to breastfeeding for young children.

At first glance, I was struck by Ashley Wollf's charming watercolour illustrations which succinctly evoke the softness and gentleness of the book's theme and bring the story beautifully to life. I found the images reminiscent of books I myself had read as a child.

As I proceeded to read Mama's Milk, I could sense the care and attention that the author had captured in his tender, poetic and almost lullaby style of writing. Familiar and unfamiliar mammals are placed alongside human mothers, all feeding their young in a wide variety of surroundings. Something all the mammals share in common is the nurturing relationship developing between mother and offspring, and the language used to convey this bond is perfect for young minds.

The delightful pictures throughout Mama's Milk beautifully complement the language and portray many images of the human breastfeeding experience, showing human Mamas breastfeeding in various situations and surroundings: in bed, at the park and at 3am in the morning, asleep whilst baby is snuggled in a sling drinking contentedly!

Contrasted with these human settings are striking pictures of mammals nurturing their own young on a farm, in a field, in a savannah, up trees, in caves, pools, furrows, burrows, in the Australian bush and even deep in the ocean!

At the end of the story the author includes some wonderful facts about breastfeeding in the mammal world (For example, "A dolphin calf holds its breath while feeding underwater").

After thoroughly enjoying the book myself, I read it to each of my three children in turn.

Although the book is recommended for children aged six months to three years, my six year old was engrossed. She adored the drawings and the soft language and was delighted by some of the facts she learnt... did you know that a Platypus' baby is called a Puggles? Or that Kangaroo milk is pink?

The three year old made lots of comparisons with her own experience of watching me breastfeed.

And the baby, aged 17 months, who was busy breastfeeding as I read to him, kept stopping to make animal sounds as I pointed out the different mammals to him and sucking noises when he saw the human Mamas breastfeeding!

In summary, Mama's Milk is more than just a book about breastfeeding; it explores human breastfeeding by showing young children that all mammals feed their own young with their own milk and that it is a completely natural experience for both mother and child, in both the human and animal kingdoms.

Mama's Milk is a true gem, one every Mama should have at hand when attempting to explain to siblings how the new baby will feed not from a bottle, but from her breasts.

So, if you know any new Mamas out there worrying about telling their children about breastfeeding, why not give it as a gift at a baby shower or when Mama confides that she is unsure how to tell her other children? I, for one, can assure you that it will be much treasured...Mama's Milk / Mama me Alimenta
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on 18 February 2012
This is a lovely little book for sharing breastfeeding imagery with your little ones. Great for those who are extended feeding, or for a big brother or sister when there is a new addition to the family. Lovely way to normalise breastfeeding and show that all the other animals do it too, it's just natural. We opted for the bi-lingual version as it was slightly cheaper but it doesn't detract from the book at all by having it in two languages. It is a great way to open a dialogue about breastfeeding too, we often have other children look through the book and it is a lovely, simple way to explain why my daughter has her milk from me when the other children may not remember or not have been breastfed themselves.
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on 6 June 2010
The texts were lovely, both the English and Spanish versions.
The illustrations were beautiful and my son enjoyed looking at all the baby animals.
Full of interesting facts as well. A great book to share with your children how wonderfully natural breastfeeding is.
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on 4 March 2014
Lovely book with great pics. My 20 month old loves reading this with me while feeding. He especially likes the scene at the park. Nice to see other animals feeding their young
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on 16 October 2015
Lovely book which my daughter has enjoyed me reading and looking at the illustrations.
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on 7 July 2015
Lovely book
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