Mama's Milk, by Michael Elsohn Ross, (Tricycle Press, 2006), is a book that makes a simple point: We are mammals, and mammals nurse their young. This shouldn't be shocking or controversial, but unfortunately it sometimes is in our culture.
Mama's Milk is a beautifully illustrated rhyming book which shows humans and other mammals nursing their babies. At the end of the book it provides some neat facts about the nursing patterns of different animals. The final page includes a link to promom.org's list of 101 reasons to breastfeed.
The idea that nursing is normal is presented in a very matter-of-fact way. You're left with the thought, "of course we nurse our babies!" It's such a refreshing change from images of mother animals giving their babies bottles, as seen in most children's books.
The images are sweet, the message is clear, it's multicultural, and the facts at the end about how animals nurse are fun. Did you know that kangaroo's milk is pink, elephants nurse for up to five years, or that bats nurse upside down?
Here's what my 3 1/2 year old son had to say about this book:
Me: What do you like about this book?
Max: I like the animals nursing. I like the piggies nursing, and the elephants nursing, and the kangaroos nursing, and the whales nursing underwater! And I don't nurse anymore.
Me: (Looking at picture of kittens nursing) Have you ever seen a cat do that thing with their paws like they were nursing?
Max: I saw Cyrus (our cat) doing that on Daddy. They do that to get the milk that's in your tummy to come out of your 'mi-mi's. (We have a little work to do on anatomy.)
Me: Do you have a lot of books that have nursing in them?
Max: Not so much. Mama, please don't bring this book to your breastfeeding! (class)
My husband, who is an elementary school reading specialist, gives it a thumbs up, too. My only requests would be that it be printed as a board book (thanks to Jen for that good suggestion), and that it be printed in Spanish.