#1 - "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed" by Mo Willems
This book was a gift to my daughter, Maren, by her preschool teacher at the beginning of the school year. Maren loves the way I read this to her, because I manage some kind of nasally voice to represent Wilbur, the mole rat in question, and some valley girl voice for the groupie mole rats who insist on remaining naked. But I love the message in the book. We're all different, but we aren't meant to base our value of others soley on our differences. It's just a funny little tongue-in-cheek story. Read it!
#2 - "The Way Mothers Are" by Miriam Schlein
This book was given to me by my own mother. Twice. I think she'd forgotten that she had already given it to me, but our fist copy had been loved too much so I really appreciated when she gave me the new copy. Which is also on its way to being loved too much. This book makes the distinction about a mother's love, that it doesn't flow freely when our children behave and it doesn't discontinue when they drive us up the wall. It's simply touching, and I think every mommy (or daddy or caregiver) needs to share this with their children. Read it!
#3 - "The Dumb Bunnies' Easter" by Dav Pilkey
This book was given to my family by my sister (wow, I'm just noticing the pattern that these books were all gifts. What's the significance of that?! This'll keep me up all night.) My sister is a special person for so many reasons. But I love her special sense of humor. Many things in life that she likes she likes because they go against the grain. She told me once she liked Sponge Bob because he was an ugly cartoon--too many cartoons were too cute for her taste, I guess. I think that's why she gave me this book. Like the sticker says on the front: This book is TOO DUMB to win an award. The book is funny, imaginative, backwards, and dumb for the sake of being dumb. I've taught my kids that when we read this book is the only time we use the word 'dumb' to label a person. Because these bunnies are genuinely clueless. And the play-on-words are great for developing kids' understanding of language. Read this one, too!
Okay, that's it. I'm glad I've done this, because for months whenever I've read one of these gems I've thought about sharing with the public at large. Maybe I can't give each of you a copy of these books as generous people have given them to me (don't I wish I were that affluent!). But at least this way if you haven't already discovered these stories, now you can go out and learn to love them yourself.