Mama Bird Lost an Egg
Mama Bird Lost an Egg
When little Gabriel loses a feather from his wing, it’s Mommy Swallow who comforts him and makes his tears take flight.
But today, Gabriel’s world is turned upside down and his heart is broken. He has just discovered his mother with tears streaming down her cheeks.
Gabriel the young swallow finds his mother sad and crying after she lost her egg. The egg fell from the nest in a terrible accident when the nest collapsed. Gabriel is sad that he won’t be a big brother, but he also realizes how sad his mother is. He takes upon himself to help comfort his mother; he takes her on a flying adventure past the cows, other birds, and up a great pine tree.
Their little hearts are soothed by a landscape so wonderful they might have dreamed it.
Gabriel succeeds in cheering up his mother and notices that his mother’s eyes are smiling again.
Mama Bird Lost an Egg is a metaphor for miscarriage and the feelings of loss felt by both parents and children. The nest in the illustrations even resembles a womb. There are few books for young children that discuss the topic of miscarriage. In that regard, Fournier should be applauded for writing a book to help young readers understand miscarriage and heal. However, I do have reservations about this book. First, the idea that the egg falls in an accident is problematic in that it implies that something can be done to prevent miscarriage or that, if a miscarriage occurs, someone is at fault. This idea of miscarriage being “an accident” could be very upsetting for some readers. In my opinion, it would have made more sense for the egg to simply not hatch. And while I like the idea that Gabriel, the little bird, cheers up his mother, I wonder if it sends the message that it is a child’s responsibility to make adults feel better in this situation. Also, at times, the translation can be a bit clunky, with overly complex or strange word choice. Chloloula’s illustrations are the highlight of Mama Bird Lost an Egg. The illustrations capture the beauty of nature and the love between a parent and child expressed in Fournier’s text.
Mama Bird Lost an Egg is best suited for shared reading at home for ages 4-8, after a careful preview of the book by parents and guardians.
Dr. Kristen Ferguson teaches literacy education at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.