Before I Was Your Mother

Common Sense Media says

Conversation starter about the "olden days."





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sweet and cozy book is an conversation starter with preschoolers about that crazy idea that you were young once, too.

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What's the story?

Katie's mother wasn't always a grown-up who wears comfortable shoes and knows how to cook and fix things. Once she was a little girl just like Katie and she loved fancy shoes, dancing on trash can lids, and eating frosting roses.

Is it any good?


This book captures the cozy feeling of listening to a parent share their childhood stories -- from the times they got into trouble or behaved less than perfectly to the games they loved to play. What a pleasure it is to know that parents really do understand why siblings argue and why it's so hard to be quiet when mom is on the phone. Kids will get the picture that parents are people with their own likes and dislikes, even if they're too busy with grocery lists and bills to always indulge their interests.

Very young kids may not quite understand that the mom in the story is not the same as the mom who might be reading the story, but older kids probably will be inspired to cuddle up and ask their parents about their own best memories. LeUyen Pham's adept watercolors use soft brown tones to lend a sepia tint to the mother's memories, making it easy for readers to recognize what is a present-day picture and what isn't.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about childhood memories. Where are those old photo albums? What books and games did you read and play that your kids also like today? What kind of trouble did you get into?

Book details

Author:Kathryn Lasky
Illustrator:LeUyen Pham
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:April 1, 2007
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 7
Read aloud:3
Read alone:7

This review of Before I Was Your Mother was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byamirhossein April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


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