Today’s Favorite: Old Turtle by Douglas Wood
Old Turtle. Spiritual without being religious. Poignant without being sappy. Ecologically aware without being preachy. Wood expresses truths (in my world) without being cliche. I’m so grateful to have found a story that I can read to my little ones that touches on the bigger questions and interconnectedness of all things. When I read it, I skip over the part about people doing harm to each other because I”m not ready to introduce my 4 year old ot the concept yet. The story works beautifully without it. Warning for those seeking out non-religious spiritual books- it does contain the concept of God. Not a judgy, power-hungry God, though. God that is in you, me and everything. The paintings are really beautiful too.
Today’s Favorite: Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
This is a newish book that I believe is the author’s first. We checked it out from the library a few months back. It’s one of those books that you keep renewing and renewing and then eventually just break down and buy. I like it because I found it hilarious, and loved the illustrations. It’s about a little owl that falls out of her nest and gets some help from a funnily unhelpful squirrel to find her. It’s sweet with cool, modern looking illustrations that are different enough to catch your attention and familiar enough to warm up to the characters immediately. I hope he writes more.
Today’s Favorite: Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler and R. Gregory Christie
This book is the coolest, grooviest rhythmic book that I have found. I absolutely love reading it, in part because it’s a little like performing music (which I have missed dearly since becoming a SAHM.) It can be read like a rap and you can even have your little one do a call and response with the end-phrases if they’re old enough.
“Grandpa toot-toots. Granny sings scat. Bitty-boppin’ baby goes, Rat-Tat-Tat! Mama sings high. Daddy sings low. Snazzy, jazzy baby says, Go, Man, Go!” C’mon. That family is cool. That baby is cool. I want to hang out with that baby he’s so cool. This jazzy family and their hip baby might be too cool for me. Good thing I get to read about them. Because they are so fun to spend time with.
Today’s Favorite: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
My favorite line of this book is the sound of the blueberries hitting the bottom of Sal’s pail “Kaplink, kaplank, kuplunk!” It’s really fun to say. And really, this book is fun to read because it’s so simple and sweet. Sal and her mother go out to pick blueberries to can for the winter. A bear and his mother go out to eat blueberries to fill up their bellies for the winter. There’s so many things right about this book. How similar we are in some ways to animals. How awesome it is to follow your mother around. How normal it is to get lost when you’re having a good time. How easy it is to eat a whole pail of blueberries. The illustrations are, to use an overused term- timeless. I especially love the wordless pages where Sal is standing on a chair “helping” her mother can the blueberries they’ve picked. It seems like a snapshot of my own life, really capturing the aching beauty of having little ones to hang out with- walking, working, playing. It’s all here in this classic.
Today’s Favorite: Red Sled by Lita Judge
My son loves sledding. We checked this book out from the library because it was about sledding and I have to say, it is simple, sweet and fun. There are hardly any words – mostly just sounds one would hear or make when sledding (Whoa! Whooosh!) which makes it really fun to read. Forest animals all take the sled out for a joyride and have a ball. And the little girl/boy is onto them. Super cute winter book.
Today’s Favorite: Little Fairy Can’t Sleep
This book is gorgeous. Daniela Drescher is such a beautiful artist that I really wouldn’t care if there weren’t words to go with the pictures. As an adult reading this book, I want to jump into the story so I can interact with the glittery, charming world she paints. I can only imagine how magical it must feel for little ones. Growing up, I loved reading about enchanted worlds — and if I’d had it, I know this book would have been a favorite. If I were being super-liberal, I’d take a small point off for the fairy being so tired at the end of the book that the moth-fairy prince carries her home….but this book is so sweet (a mother fox & her family, a father elf & his family, the sandman, a mid-summer night’s party!) that I don’t even care. If I’m reading this to my son at bedtime, when we get to the sandman page, he asks me to grab some magic dust from the page to sprinkle in his eyes. That’s how much this book comes alive. Gor-geous!
There are so many things I come across from day to day that spark an interest, make me smile, or catch my kids attention. I thought I’d devote Fridays to sharing some of those favorite things with you. (No- it ain’t gonna be whiskers on kittens and bright copper kettles, though that is one of my favorite songs for all of eternity.)
Today’s Favorite: Hush! A Thai Lullabye by Mingfong Ho, Illustrated by Holly Meade
The thing I like most about this book are the illustrations because they tell another story. The book starts with the mama putting her little one to sleep in a hammock. Then she sings a gentle song to all the nearby animals (mosquito, monkey, elephant, pig, and more) one by one, instructing them to be very quiet because her baby is sleeping. But on each page in the background, the illustrator shows the baby is out of the hammock and roaming about. So reading this to a little one is joyful not just for the sweet lullabye, but for the added bonus of seeing them giggle as they try to find the baby who has snuck out of the hammock and is not sleeping after all. For some reason they find it hilarious that while the mama makes every effort to quiet down the barnyard singing, “can’t you see that baby’s sleeping?” that baby has fooled his mama pretty darn good. Sneaky sweetness.