What Makes A Child Love A Book?
There are the books that seem to be universally beloved. “Little Blue Truck,” “Goodnight Moon”, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?”, “etc. etc.. But what about those books that your child insists on reading over and over again that feel, well, a little random to you? Those books you might, er, hide behind the couch or in another room for a little while because you’re not sure you can read it one more time? I’m not alone here, right?
I’m very curious about what it is that makes a child become so attached to certain books. As a kid, my favorite was “Snuggle Piggy and the Magic Blanket” (Which is now out of print! For shame!). I think I liked it because I had my own special blanket, but I remember loving the idea that there was this whole other, magic world that the adults didn’t know about. Actually, I still love stories that like. Is this significant? Note to self.
Sometimes when I’m re-reading middle grade favorites, I’ll get to a scene that I remember I couldn’t get enough of as a kid, like the list of things Harriet keeps in her bag in Harriet the Spy, and I find it so interesting to think about why that resonated with me.
Do you have a somewhat random book you loved as a kid? Scenes you treasured? What books do your kids wear down with their love? Any theories as to why they’re so attached?
First, I’d like to share some of Maeve’s new books. Then I’d like you to play a little guessing game of “which ones did Mom and Dad have to hide?”. To be clear, I genuinely like all of these or I wouldn’t be sharing about them. Maeve reads all of them with great gusto, but there’s that je ne sais quoi about two of them that brought them over into obsession. Again, if you know the “quoi”, please enlighten us. It’s fascinating to me!
Grant Snider’s What Color Is Night?
I love a good book about nighttime before bed. Maybe I think it will set the stage for extra long sleep, more likely I just like the soothing feel. The images and feel of wonder in this are beautiful. Thank you to Chronicle Books for my copy!
Lucy Knisley’s You Are New
Knisley is a favorite author of mine. She writes thoroughly charming graphic memoirs, so I knew we had to check this one out. It’s full of sweet, eye-catching drawings and fun words about what babies can do. This is a great one if you’re trying to make a child more comfortable or more excited about babies.
Susan Verde’s and Peter H. Reynolds’ I Am Love
Full of peaceful and loving sentiments, I can see using this as a gentle reminder to Maeve as she continues to explore the world. Verde is a yoga instructor and Reynolds is the artist behind “The Dot”, which you may already have, so it’s an excellent collaboration. Thank you to Abram Books!
Ruth Krauss’ and Sergio Ruzzier’s Roar Like A Lion
Silly. I feel like there’s an age when kids start playing with words and figuring out what is sensical and nonsensical where this would tickle them so much. Thank you to Harper Collins!
Jodi Moore and Howard McWilliam’s I Love My Dragon
A child and his dragon going through life things together. Pretty darn precious and colorful and fun! Thank you, Flashlight Press!
Beth Ferry and The Fan Brother’s Scarecrow
Beautiful illustrations and a sweet story of an unexpected friendship. It felt a little unhealthy enneagram type 2 to me, but I know many of you who love stories like “Runaway Bunny” who will love the emotion of this one. Thank you, Harper Collins!
Annie Silvestro and Teagan White’s Mice Skating
Teagan White is a favorite artist of mine and this story, about one mouse who loves winter and wants to get her friends out exploring, is very cute and wintry. Also, the cheese puns…100.
Robert Henderson’s I See, I See
This idea is brilliant! Each picture is something that can be seen one way from above and one way from below (the ones in the excerpt online are not the best ones in the book). You read the book with one person on each side and I can’t wait for Maeve to understand its brilliance more and eventually turn it into a life lesson about perspective. For now, she likes the pictures and learning what each thing is. Thank you, Chronicle Books!
Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam’s How I Met My Monster
Maeve is very into monsters and this one is so cute. The idea of each child needing their own unique combination of a monster to keep them in their bed is one that I think both parents and kids can enjoy. Thank you, Flashlight Press!
Amanda Noll and Howard McWilliam’s Are You My Monster?
This is a board book related to the one above. It’s a checklist that the boy goes through to find his own monster and it’s pretty adorable to watch Maeve figure out if each monster has the right color, teeth, claws, and tail. She flips through this one often, growling along. Thank you again to Flashlight Press!
Drum Roll, Please
Maeve, right about at the age of one, had choreographed movements to the book “I Am Love”, including putting her hands on heart. I don’t know what it was about this very peaceful story with quite grown-up life lessons that spoke to her little self, but it was pretty darn precious seeing her embrace this story all about how to treat everyone with love.
The other book that now only comes out at certain times, because otherwise all you hear while reading to her from a stack of books with it in it is “Baby! Baby! Baby!”, is…”You Are New”. She can’t get enough of those babies! This one also has some very sweet, important life lessons.
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