Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sweet Summer Social — Wise Mama Blog

Today's Sweet Summer Social guest post is by Caroline of Wise Mama Blog. This is a very special post  because it is the first baby post here on Cirque du Sweet. Although we don't have plans to have a baby of our own just quite yet, several of my friends and readers are new (or soon-to-be) mamas and I knew that a post from Caroline would be a hit. Caroline and I go way back, back to when we were babies ourselves, and she's here to share some of her top children's books with you. Be sure to check out her blog for more tips and practical parenting advice for your little bundles of joy.

The best children's books offer so much more than learning your ABCs and seeing spot run; they're true works of art. I chose six of my favorite, sure-to-make-you-tear-up, all-time sweetest children's books. They make great gifts for parents, children, or just for yourself.

1. Love You Forever, written by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Sheila McGraw
This one holds a special place in my heart because my dad read it to me as a child. In it, a mother cares for her son, watching him grow from infancy to adulthood. Through each stage of his life, she rocks him as he sleeps and sings, "I'll love you forever,/ I'll like you for always,/ As long as I'm living/ my baby you'll be." As the mother ages, the tables turn, and the adult son rocks his elderly mother. The circle of life is heartbreaking and beautiful. Listen to Munsch read it himself here.

2. Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
Every single one of Nancy Tillman's books is a treasure. If I must choose just one favorite, this is it. I feel like Tillman took words I tell my son right out of my mouth. “If you're still my small babe/ or you're all the way grown,/ my promise to you/ is you're never alone.” Her illustrations are absolutely breathtaking. I discover something new in them each time I read the book. What an incredible talent! We also read her book It's Time to Sleep, My Love daily.

3. Somedaywritten by Allison McGhee, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
I just now watched this reading of Somedayand the story made me teary yet again. Every word is artfully chosen. The illustrations set just the right tone. A mother reflects on all the dreams she has for her child. “Someday your eyes will be filled with a joy so deep that they shine...Someday I will stand on this porch and watch your arms waving to me until I no longer see you.” McGhee somehow captures what it truly feels like to be a mother.

4. I Knew You Couldwritten by Craig Dorfman, illustrated by Cristina Ong
Part of the Little Engine That Could series, I Knew You Could is Inspirational with a capital “I.” The former-teacher in me thinks it's perfect for the classroom. Train tracks work well as a metaphor for life's journey. The little engine faces life's ups and downs. “Don't be afraid to toot your own horn if you need to be heard, or there are people to warn. Or if being yourself just makes you so proud that you want to share it and sing it out loud.” The book is filled with powerful messages like this.

5. You Are My Miracle, written by Maryann K. Cusimano Love, illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa
Find a sneak peek of this sweet story here. Somehow Love captures the relationship between child and parent in such a simple yet poignant way. "I am your old stories;/ you are my make-believe./ I am your go to sleep;/ you are my Christmas Eve." The illustrations are timeless and warm. This is a Christmas story, but her companion book You Are My I Love You has the same heart and is appropriate year-round.

6. The Kissing Handwritten by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Who knew raccoons could make such loveable characters? Mommy Raccoon calms Chester's fears of going to school by teaching him about the kissing hand. She warmly kisses the palm of his hand and says, “Now, whenever you feel lonely and need a little love from home, just press your hand to your cheek and think, 'Mommy loves you. Mommy loves you.'” I would have adored this story as a child, and I look forward to sharing it with my son. Listen to it here.

If there's one thing I've learned from reading these books, it's that heartwarming life messages can come in the form of tiny little children's books. People of any age would be touched by these stellar stories. I guess you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline! Your blog is so sweet-- just like I remember you were as little girl. Alli's Mom. Fort Collins CO