I am crazy about books. Any sort of book. And the
library…feels a bit like a second home to me. Even as a kid, I'd ride my bike
to the local library, assemble a massive stack of short chapter books and read,
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I prayed all the time
that she would love to read. I'm so happy to say that she does and I really
savor that time that we spend together. I'll admit. Some kids books are weird.
Or annoying. Or boring. Or even kind of dark and creepy. But there are so many
good ones, too. That didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the fact that lots of these books have really
made my adult brain think…sometimes about tough stuff…and they've even made me
a better mom. Here are a few of my favorites.
The mother in this book – I get her. In fact, I am her. And
not just in the sense that we both named our daughters Harriet. This frazzled,
sloppily-dressed, hard-working mama is doing her darndest to be patient with
her mess-making daughter. But towards the end, she yells. Like… she freaks out.
And what results is a beautiful, real-life mother-daughter moment where the mom
models a genuine apology and they seal the deal with lots of laughter. Every
time my Harriet and I read this book, it gives us an opportunity to talk about
frustration and it reminds me how important it is for me to apologize to my
kids (with no "buts") when I lose my cool.
This is the beautifully simple story of a young mole who
longs to keep a bird as a pet in his underground home. His wise and gentle
parents, and his even wiser and gentler grandfather, teach him that if he truly
loves the bird, he must let it go. It's one of those priceless and painful
lessons that all parents need to learn and put into practice over and over
Okay, so maybe this one hasn't necessarily made me a better
mother. But it's still so, so good for parents… especially new parents. I give
it to a lot of new moms because it's one of the few books I've found that
realistically (and even humorously) describes the first few months with a
newborn. The illustrations are wonderful, and I think it's a great gift for a
big sibling-to-be, too.