Some of my favourite moments with my kids happen with a book opened in front of us. Curled up together on a bed or the living room couch gazing at beautifully illustrated pictures that spark our imaginations, let us forget what needs to be forgotten, make us ask questions. “How did that seed turn into a tree?” “Have you ever lost something that was special to you, too?” “Does the moon move, Mommy?”
Children’s books are one of my best tools to keep the peace in our house. Maybe I am too tired to do anything else. Or my preschooler wants some attention. Or my toddler needs to wind down. Or I am about to lose my **** and so I grab a book and start to read before I start to scream.
Here are some of my favourites:
Everything Nancy Tillman writes is wondrous, but I absolutely love On the Night You Were Born. It makes me think about when my sons were born and those powerful feelings that came with their births. When I feel angry or defeated by this whole motherhood role this book is able to bring me back to earth, and remind me of the blessing that motherhood is.
It’s so fun to read anything by Ezra Jack Keats. His books, such as The Snowy Day or Whistle for Willie, highlight the ordinary moments of childhood but in such a delightful way.
Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman. Her pictures are incredible and the story is sweet. For any writers out there this story carries a message for all of us, about patience, timing, paying attention.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. If there’s a children’s book that gets my imagination churning more than any other this one is it. I love the unanswered questions it leaves you with – Was it just a dream? Why did the Wild Things want to eat Max if they loved him so much? Will Max ever return to the island?
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. This has been my all-time favourite story since I was a little girl. I was given a copy of this book from my grandmother and still own it to this day. Whether it’s shared with kids young or old this book has a powerful lesson to teach about finding that special way that we can make the world a better place.
With the beginning of Fall right under our noses it seems like the perfect time to dig into those well-loved stories, new or old, and let them nourish us like a warm cup of soup.
Do tell, what are some of your family’s favourites children’s books?