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Tag Archives: mothers day
After April Showers come…May flowers! For May we read more books about rain and the water cycle, but added in books on seeds, plants and flowers. We found several wonderful books for Mothers’ Day – some touching, some amusing, all great for read-aloud! We also read a powerful and poignant book for Memorial Day.
As you might imagine, given the subject matter, we found some beautifully illustrated selections this month. It’s fun to look at the collage and think about all the amazing books we have uncovered – or rediscovered – this year.
But I digress…we have seven more months to go!
Category: 365 Read Aloud
For Mothers’ Day, we read an adorable new book called “You Made Me a Mother”, by Laurenne Sala and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. First published in March of this year, “You Made Me a Mother” is short on text but long on moving imagery. In this sweet picture book, Ms. Sala provides a tear-jerking tribute to the magic that is motherhood, making it a perfect fit for our Mothers’ Day read aloud.
“You Made Me a Mother” is written in the first person, with a mommy talking to her little one about how much having a child has changed her life for the better. The narrative takes the reader from the excitement and apprehension of pregnancy, to the “big fat love” of a mommy holding her baby for the first time, to a day somewhere in the future when that same little baby will finally be ready to “let go” of her mommy’s hand. Along the way, Ms. Glasser – whose style you may recognize from her work on the Fancy Nancy books – creates wonderfully expressive scenes that fit the text perfectly.
Ms. Sala succeeds in capturing the feelings I feel are most special about motherhood. I loved the mother’s realization that she would spend her life doing things to make her little one happy, and the feeling of magic she experiences when she hears her little on say her name and take her hand. I know both feelings quite intimately – as well as this one: “If I could, I would open my heart, and love would rain down all over you. And you would giggle. And I’d do it all over again. And we would walk hand in hand. Until you let go.”
Even though it has been over 12 years since I first became a mother, every time I look at this book I am lump-in-my-throat reminded of just how overwhelmingly magical becoming a mother truly was/is. Thank you Ms. Sala and Ms. Glasser for expressing my feelings so beautifully and in a way that allows me to easily share them with my children on Mothers’ Day and everyday.
Once there was a little girl. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” her mother asked. “I just want to stay little right now,” she said. “Why?” said her mother. “It’s nice to be grown up. Why do you want to be little?” “Because I am,” said the little girl, “and because when you are little you can do things you can’t when you grow up.”
So begins “I Like to be Little” by Charlotte Zolotow and illustrated by Erik Blegvad. It’s an endearing little book that does a wonderful job of reflecting how I think a child might choose to look at the world. In the process, it reminded us of some of the very best things about being small…while not forgetting to mention what I think is one of the very best things about growing up.
What are some of the things you get to do when you are little? Skip when you are glad, play under the dining room table, go barefoot in the summertime, draw with crayons, have birthday parties with cake and ice cream, jump in piles of leaves, eat snow as it falls from the sky, or sit and do nothing all day. Her mother asks questions to understand, and occasionally inserts observations, but mostly she listens patiently. Eventually, the mother informs her daughter that she knows something about being grown up that makes all those things happen again…you get to be the mother of a little girl of your own! “I know something as good as that,” the little girl says too her incredulous mother, “at night, after you kiss me and tuck me in, I can lie in bed and think of growing up to be like you…I like to know I’ll grow up some day. But right now, I like to be little.”
This is a really sweet and thoroughly delightful book. The way in which Ms. Zolotow’s little girl describes all the things which she likes about being little is charming, and reading it put a big smile on my face…that smile has appeared again as I think about it. It’s a great reminder to find the joy in little everyday events, and of the value of unstructured play. We also thought it was a particularly good selection for the Saturday before Mothers’ Day.
For our next Mother’s Day themed book, we had a little change of pace. Last night was a beautiful and moving tribute to family. Tonight was a plain old-fashioned laugh-out-loud good time. “Mommy, Pick Me Up” by Soledad Bravi is short on words and is illustrated with simple and colorful drawings, but it is full of humor – perhaps best falling under the category of “It’s Funny Because It’s True.”
Every page of this book rang true for us…and every one made me laugh. If you would like to know how mommy’s day was in our house…any day…we could probably just hand you this book and you’d be up to speed. Two of my favorite pages (splitting hairs here, because they were all pretty good) were the little boy sitting on the floor surrounded by blocks saying “Mommy? Can you help me build a tower?”, and the tried-and-true “Mommy snuggle” with a little boy resting his head on mommy’s shoulder; there’s not much better in the world than the shoulder snuggle. However, my very favorite spread…and I’m guessing I’m not alone…was the little boy calling out:
“YES!” says Daddy…
Yes – that about sums it up. I think I am finished here.
For the week leading up to Mother’s Day, we selected several books that have to do with motherhood and childhood. Our first such selection, “The Best Gifts” by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and illustrated by Elly MacKay, is a particularly moving tribute to motherhood and to family. With Ms. Skrypuch’s warm and comforting words, and Ms. MacKay’s dreamy dioramas decorating every page, the book reminds us of the importance of special moments and the power of well loved family mementos to bring memories of those moments back, and that “the best gifts cans never be bought.”
The narrative of “The Best Gifts” traces a circle, following Sara and the key moments in her life – from breastfeeding with her mother as a baby to breastfeeding her own child. The book pauses for one of Sara’s birthdays, for college graduation, for Sara’s wedding, and finally for the birth of Sara’s own child. All along the way, there are celebrations and thoughtful gifts, but the very best gifts always come later…when Sara is “wrapped in love” at her mother’s breast, when she falls asleep to her father reading her a bed time story, or when she receives the wedding gift of an old photo album covered with fabric from her baby blanket.
There is some truly beautiful imagery at work in this book (e.g., mother’s milk swirling in Sara’s mouth, father’s words swirling in Sara’s head, a child feeling wrapped in love, and a light scent of sandalwood that later would bring back so many fond memories). Ms. MacKay’s unique style of illustration fits perfectly with the text. We all loved reading this book – all the more so because we are parents of two little girls. I can’t recommend this book enough; it is now a permanent part of our collection.
Side note: the edition we read was an updated version of the 1998 original – with new illustrations and some information on breastfeeding resources at the end.