May 14 – Mother’s Day


About the Holiday

We always love our moms, but on the second Sunday of May we celebrate that special relationship and thank them for everything they do for us all year long. On May 9, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation establishing Mother’s Day as “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” First envisioned to honor all mothers instead of primarily your own, the day has become a more personal holiday in which families celebrate in their own unique and meaningful way. As today’s book shows, the nature of motherhood is surprisingly the same for human moms as for those in nature!

Supermoms!: Animal Heroes

Written by Heather Lang and Jamie Harper | Illustrated by Jamie Harper


Did you know that the animal kingdom is full of supermoms? It’s true! They may not wear capes, but some do fly through the air and others can go paw to wheel with a speeding train. “With powerful instincts and extraordinary skills, these moms do whatever it takes to protect and raise their young.” With so many different animal species, each having their own talents and behaviors, there are lots of ways these moms take care of their little ones. While some creatures raise their families in close quarters, groundhog moms build vast burrows with special rooms, “including a bathroom and a nursery lined with soft grasses for her pups.” Readers also discover how a red-knobbed hornbill mom uses a rather unusual substance to help seal up her home, and how a strawberry poison frog deals with extreme sibling rivalry in an extremely clever way.


Image copyright Jamie Harper, 2023, text copyright Heather Lang and Jamie Harper, 2023. Courtesy of Candlewick.

We all know moms make sacrifices for their children, but kids will be amazed at how penguins, polar bears, and bearded capuchin monkeys go the extra mile to make sure their babies are well-fed and happy. Animals don’t have minivans or SUVs or even city buses to help them transport their young, but that doesn’t stop some supermoms from taking their little ones here and there. For example, “an American Alligator’s might mouth makes the perfect super stroller. Mom scoops up her hatchlings and shuttles them safely to the water.” Little brown bat and wolf spider moms know just how to carry their kids in ways that are novel and exciting too.

Of course, keeping their children safe is one of a mom’s most important jobs, and readers will see how nature’s “supermoms stop at nothing to protect their young.” Whether they live under the sea, on the savannah, or at the beach, these mothers are always alert for predators use anything they’ve got—their mouths, tentacles, hooves, bums, and even their acting ability—to make sure that their precious kids are okay.


Image copyright Jamie Harper, 2023, text copyright Heather Lang and Jamie Harper, 2023. Courtesy of Candlewick.

As all kids know, besides making a home, feeding, transporting, and providing protection, moms are great teachers. It’s the same for animals. Some baby animals need to learn how to swim, how to gather food without hurting themselves, where to find food, how to use tools, and even how to make a comfy home of their own. And who shows them how to do all of these things and more? Their moms, of course! “With powerful instincts and extraordinary skills, these moms give their youngsters everything they need to go out into the world and thrive.” Sounds familiar, right?!

Back matter includes an illustrated guide to the eighteen animals represented in the book complete with their “super ability,” information on where they live and what they eat, and a “Guess What?” fun fact about each creature. A list of online resources, books, and films where kids can learn more about some of the animals is also included.


Image copyright Jamie Harper, 2023, text copyright Heather Lang and Jamie Harper, 2023. Courtesy of Candlewick.

Heather Lang and Jamie Harper’s Supermoms! Animal Heroes is immediately relatable with its home-run hit of superheroes, humor, eye-widening facts, and, of course, a mom’s love. Harper and Lang use a combination of easy-to-understand, straightforward text and lots of funny, rib-tickling speech bubbles that offer the kind of comical commentary on their surroundings and circumstances that will keep kids laughing, learning, and wanting to read the book again and again. The mix of well-known and more unusual species orients kids to those animals they’ve already heard about and may have seen for themselves at the zoo or aquarium and those they’d like to learn more about.

Jamie Harper’s textured, collage-style illustrations take kids underground, to the ocean, high into trees, across frozen tundras, and through dusty, grassy plains to demonstrate how moms with one to thousands of youngsters make sure they are nurtured and protected no matter what it takes. Her cartoon animals are realistically portrayed and their spunk, facial expressions, and actions are engagingly kid-inspired. 

If your kids love nonfiction, learning about nature and animals, or simply a book that will get them laughing while they discover fascinating facts, Supermoms! Animal Heroes would be an often-asked-for addition to home bookshelves. The book’s content and extensive additional resources, both in the backmatter and on Heather Lang’s website, make Supermoms! a must for classroom, school, and public library collections.

Ages 3 – 7

Candlewick, 2023 | ISBN 978-1536217971

About Heather Lang

Heather Lang is the author of The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest and Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark, among other books. She lives in Massachusetts.

About Jamie Harper

Jamie Harper is the author-illustrator of four books about the feisty flamingo teacher Miss Mingo as well as the Baby Bundt board books and the picture books Miles to Go and Miles to the Finish. She lives outside Boston.

Mother’s Day Activity


Supermom! Mother’s Day Card


Kids know their mom’s super, and with this printable Supermom! card found on Heather Lang’s website, children can tell their mom just why they think she’s so special on Mother’s Day—or any day!

Mother’s Day Card


More Supermoms! Fun


Kids and adults will find even more worksheets, activities, and games as well as videos of animals in their natural habitats caring for their young and the links to six movies about animals found around the world on YouTube and other streaming services on Heather Lang’s website.


You can find Supermoms!: Animal Heroes at these booksellers

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

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Picture Book Review