"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): A MOM FOR UMANDE by Maria Faulconer (C)


A True Adoption Story
by Maria Faulconer
Illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
Release date: April 3rd, 2014
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover from the author.


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.


This little gorilla's story will tug at your heartstrings bringing tears to your eyes. The author tells his story with such grace and tenderness, even your little one will understand, feel, the love that went into this book.

When Umande was born, his mom didn't know how to care for him. Even though they were both surrounded by other gorillas, none of the others had ever had any experience with how to handle a baby gorilla, the band did not know how to support and aid the new mother. Umande was left alone and neglected. The zookeepers had to step in and take care of him. Like an infant baby, the zookeepers fed and played with him. They taught him how to play and fend for himself. They loved him as best as they could while they found him a new home, a new family.
Soon enough, Umande is sent to another zoo to hopefully be his new home. They introduce him to Lulu, an experienced mother whose babies have all grown up. Lulu instantly takes a liking to Umande, and within minutes the two start bonding and grow to love one another.
Umande has found a new mom. A new place to call home.

The illustrations perfectly portray Umande's transition and the adoration, warmth and care that he received from his caretakers. You can see and feel the hopes and dreams that they had for Umande to have a happy life, home and family. And of course, we also see the beautiful love between mother and child unfold right before our eyes.

An endearing picture book that will be loved by many... a story to share not only with adoptees and their families, but with anyone. Umande is sure to teach many that hope is never lost, and that thoughtfulness and love can be found.

*I received this book from the author for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


Winner will receive a gift basket that includes a $50 Amazon gift card, a copy of A MOM FOR UMANDE, a stuffed baby gorilla, a gorilla zoo book, a miniature wooden zoo train set, Gummi Bears, and rock candy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - 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.


Monday, January 12th - Geo Librarian
Tuesday, January 13th - A Book and a Latte
Wednesday, January 14th - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Friday, January 16th - In Between the Pages
Monday, January 19th - Such a Novel Idea
Wednesday, January 21st - Mundie Kids
Friday, January 23rd - Adoption Mama
Monday, January 26th - WS Momma Readers Nook
Wednesday, January 28th - A Leisure Moment
Friday, January 30th - Historical Fiction Obsession


  1. I really was into reading as a child. I adored all sorts of books. I guess my favorite books were by a Russian writer Max Frai. I read them in my teens and I m still rereading them

  2. The earliest book I remember reading on my own was the boxcar Children! I really liked those books :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. My favorite book from childhood is Love you forever by Robert Munsch. I still cry every time I read it <3

  4. My favorite book is the Loud Mouse. It was the first book, I learned to read when I was in first grade.

  5. (Alisha S. in rafflecopter)

    One of favorite childhood books is Charlotte's Web. Thanks for the giveaway! :)


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