top of page

Coming January 2019

Read the Press Release.

Paperback | Hardback | eBook

$12.95 | $16.95 | $11.99

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-938492-06-8

Hardback ISBN:   978-1-938492-03-7

eBook ISBN:        978-1-938492-05-1

64 pages

Size: 10 7/8 x 8 3/8   

Grades: 5-9

Ages: 10-14

           4-8 as a Read-a-Loud

Si mi mamá fuera un ornitorrinco:
Los bebés mamíferos y sus madres

       This Platypus Media classic is now coming in Spanish!


All over the world, in all kinds of habitats, mothers bring forth new life. For many animals, such as reptiles and amphibians, mothering responsibilities end before the babies are even born. But mammal babies need their mothers--they need to be nurtured and nourished long enough to learn how to survive on their own. 


All mammal mothers feed, protect, and teach their young, even though these tasks can challenge their own needs for survival.

But a mammal baby’s journey to maturity varies dramatically depending on whether it is a bear or a bat, a shrew or a seal, a hippopotamus or a human. This fascinating look at life cycles portrays the normalcy of birth and breastfeeding and explores how mothers help 14 different mammals navigate the path from helpless infants to self-sufficient adults.

En todo el mundo, en todos los tipos de hábitats, las madres crean vidas nuevas. Para muchos animales, como los reptiles y anfibios, las responsabilidades de las madres terminan antes de que los bebés nazcan. Pero los bebés mamíferos necesitan a sus madres — ellos necesitan que ellas los críen y alimenten antes de que puedan aprender a sobrevivir solos.

Todas las madres de mamíferos alimentan, protegen y les enseñan a sus crías, incluso cuando esas tareas a menudo desafían sus necesidades de sobrevivencia. Pero el viaje de un bebé mamífero a la madurez varía dramáticamente dependiendo de si es un oso o un murciélago, una musaraña o una foca, un hipopótamo o un humano. Esta introducción fascinante al mundo de los mamíferos revela cómo catorce bebés mamíferos crecen, desde que son bebés indefensos hasta que se convierten en adultos independientes.

Want a preview? 

Check out the condensation.

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 4.31.59 PM.png

meet the animals in the book:

golden lion tamarin monkey

mono tití león dorado

african elephant

elefante africano





pacific grey whale

ballena gris del Pacífico  

least shrew




hooded seal

foca de casco

Mexican free-tailed bat

murciélago cola de ratón  



polar bear

oso polar







what the experts say...

“These animal stories help show new moms that breastfeeding is what nature intended. When you find out that there isn't a mammal alive in the wild who doesn't put their baby to breast and keep her there for a while, it is a powerful message about the normalcy of breastfeeding. Our hope is that when moms read these stories to their children, the beauty and simplicity of breastfeeding will resonate for them at a deep level.”

—Sharon Giles-Pullen, New Mexico Department of Health's Breastfeeding Promotion Manager

“Completely engrossing! Most readers are sure to be surprised by something they learn about these seemingly familiar animals... A wonderful gift book for expectant parents or families with children."


—Carolyn Bailey, Foreword Magazine

"As engaging visually as it is verbally!"


—Dr. Inés L. Cifuentes, Director,

    Carnegie Academy for Science Education

“This book is an amazing achievement! Zoologists will get lost in the accuracy and detail of the descriptions of birth and feeding. Children will be captivated by the beautiful pictures and stories of mammal mother and baby pairs. I was surprised by how many new facts I learned. And what could be more entertaining yet educationally valuable for a child to see than that mammals—whether human, bear, bat, giraffe, seal, or shrew—all have important things in common. The only problem with it is that big adult kids might butt out smaller kids in their effort to read the book!”


—James McKenna, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, author, Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s            Guide to Cosleeping, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana

“I am blown away by this book! This is one of the most engaging nonfiction books I have ever read.

It correlates so well with our science curriculum and the Common Core State Standards. The Activity Guide and Hands-On Demonstrations are so teacher friendly. I cannot say enough positive things about this material!”

—Sonya Smith, Science Coordinator, ATOMS2XP (Advancing Teachers of Middle School Science) and      IMPACT2 (In-depth Mathematical Practices and Content Teacher Training), Miss. State, MS

About the Author

and Illustrator

Dia L. Michels is an award-winning internationally published science and parenting writer, she is the author or editor of over a dozen books for both children and adults. Her books have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew, Chinese, and Korean. A popular speaker, she lectures frequently at conferences, universities, libraries, and schools around the country. She teaches classes on mammal reproduction and lactation at children’s and science museums around the U.S. Her articles have been published in People, Parenting, Mothering, Parents, Baby Talk, Family Fun, Nurturing, and the Washington Post. The mother of three grown children, she lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington D.C. with three cats and a dog. She can be reached at

Andrew Barthelmes, illustrator of If My Mom Were A Platypus, and designer of I Was Born to Be a Brother and many other projects, is a New York based illustrator and graphic designer. A graduate of The School of Visual Arts, his illustrations have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ladies’ Home Journal, Street & Smith’s Sports, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to the Platypus book, he also illustrated Herman the Loudmouth. He has been a children’s book designer for Random House, Inc. and is currently creating a new series of children’s books for Reader’s Digest. He lives in Peekskill, NY with his wife Barbara and their daughter Julia.

translation by The Spanish Group

The Spanish Group is one of the nation’s leaders in Spanish translation services because of their unparalleled precision, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. The Spanish Group meticulously translates documents of any caliber and works with both the public and private sectors.

bottom of page