A Mom for Umande

A Mom for Umande

I’m multi-tasking today, I’m participating in an event for the picture book A Mom for Umande.

So, I’m repeating my previous Perfect Picture Book Friday post about the book.  

The original PPBF includes the interview with Author Maria Faulconer.
A Mom for Umande
Written by Maria Faulconer
Illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
Dial Books for Young Readers, April 2, 2014
Non-fiction
Suitable for: Ages 4-8
Themes/Topics: Orphans, Zoos, Caregivers, Surrogate Moms


Opening Lines: On a cold winter’s night, the zoo is quiet. The visitors have gone home. In the darkness of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, a baby gorilla is born. His name is Umande, which means “swirling mists” in Swahili. Umande is wet and trembling. He crest, as if to say “Will you hold me?”


Synopsis: From inside book jacket: When Umande was born, his mother didn’t know how to take care of him. So, he was hand-reared by keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. For eight months, the keepers crawled on the ground with him to show him how to walk; coughed in his face to teach him discipline; and gave him happy gorilla grumbles to encourage him. But for Umande, something was still missing. Luckily, a thousand miles away at the Columbus Zoo, a mom was waiting just for him. This touching story about finding a home is a true testament to the powerful bonds we form and the families we make.


Link to Resources:  Umande is mentioned on the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo website. The zoo’s website has fun activities for children including a Zoo Keeper Training game. Umande lives in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Maria Faulconer lists several zoos in her author’s note where one can learn more about gorillas, hand-rearing or conservation programs. The Lincoln Park Zoo has several educator resources on its website. The book is a great conversation starter about parenting — the need for a parent/role model — and adoption issues too.


Why I Like this Book:  The book is about a gorilla born at the local zoo we visit. How could I not pick this one up for my son? The story and beautiful illustrations share Umande’s survival with the help of zoo keepers, who act like his mother, and to his finding a gorilla, who would be his mother and take care of him. in the author’s note, she mentions a total of 18 keepers and caregivers spent thousands of hours taking care of him. The book received a Starred-Review on Kirkus Reviews.

GIVEAWAY
Here’s the giveaway info first and then, I’ll share something about my Mother:

Winner will receive a special Mother’s Day gift basket including:

  • Lavender and Vanilla Candle
  • A Book of Simple Pleasures
  • A Lavender Lotion and Hand Soap Set
  • Vanilla Rose Bubble Bath and Body Lotion
  • Lavender Chamomile Shea Butter Soap
  • A White Flower in a Wooden Box
  • Lavender Soap in a Keepsake Box 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Mom
I wanted to participate in this giveaway, because I really love how Maria Faulconer shares the story of Umande and his path to having a mom.

Plus, participants were asked to talk about their own moms.


I love my mom. She’s very humble and often questions her input into her lives. But, I don’t know how I would be where I am today without her (and my Dad). She encouraged all of her children and offered support (even if she didn’t see the point of our endeavors). She trusted us on many levels. For this, I remain grateful.
I am very blessed to have Mom as my mom. Thanks to technology, we are able to talk almost daily, and randomly email and FaceTime. Well, she wants to FaceTime with Enzo. 🙂


Really, I’m blessed to have many great Moms in my life like my sister Tracy, my sister-in-law DeAnne, my mother-in-law Barb and so many friends and relatives. I appreciate all the moms, who read this blog and interact on Facebook too. Thanks to the Internet — good and bad — no one really has to mother alone now.


Event Participants
There are a number of other posts about Umande as part of the giveaway. Here’s the schedule, if you would like to check out some different blogs.
May 4 – Coffee Books 7 ArtPieces of Whimsy,  21st Century Once Upon a Times
May 7- In Between the PagesBeauty and the ArmageddonDeal Sharing AuntA Book and a Latte
May 8- The Phantom ParagrapherCurling Up With a Good Book,  Stacy S. Jensen
May 9- Ishiee’s Book Blog,  Maureen’s BooksBookworm for Kids
May 10- LuLo FangirlRefreshingly RikiBumbles & Fairytales,  Books Are Love
I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day and enjoy the weekend.
Here’s the official blog tour blurbs on the book and a bio on Maria. She’s a delight and the book is too.


A MOM FOR UMANDE by Maria Faulconer
The heart-tugging true story of how a baby gorilla found love in the arms of a surrogate mom.
When Umande was born, his mother didn’t know how to take care of him. So, he was hand-reared by keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. For eight months, the keepers crawled on the ground with him to show him how to walk; coughed in his face to teach him discipline; and gave him happy gorilla grumbles to encourage him. But for Umande, something was still missing. Luckily, a thousand miles away at the Columbus Zoo, a mom was waiting just for him.
This touching true story about finding a family will resonate with animal lovers and adoptive families alike.
Illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
A Mom for UmandeGoodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
About Maria Faulconer
Maria Faulconer has published fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She loves writing stories, especially ones that tug at the heartstrings. A huge animal lover, and an adoptive mom herself, she knew when she saw a photo of a baby gorilla snuggling with his surrogate mom that she had to tell their story – A Mom for Umande. Her first children’s book, Arianna and the Strawberry Tea, was used for a statewide literacy program. She currently writes for Colorado Springs Style magazine and is working on a YA novel. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads