Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon“Goodnight Moon” is a classic, classic children’s book. It isn’t exactly a story, but more of a bedtime book.

The book starts out by describing all of the things in the “great green room.” There are “two little kittens and a pair of mittens,” “a telephone,” “a comb and a brush and a bowl full of mush,” and “a quiet old lady who was whispering ‘hush’.” Then, the book says goodnight to everything in the room. One thing at a time, nothing is forgotten. Not even the stars outside or the air.

This book was my fiance’s favorite book as a little boy. He has told me multiple times that we need to get it for our own children. I’m okay with that. It has a calming quality that I love. It’s also really easy to parody, if you’re in the mood for a laugh check out this book, “Goodnight iPad.” It definitely made my day.

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee“A Sick Day for Amos McGee” is about a zoo keeper named Amos who always always takes care of his animals. He wakes up early, is never late, and is always patient with his animals. He plays chess with the elephant, and lets him think as long as he wants. He races the tortoise and the tortoise always wins. Amos sits and listens to the shy penguin and he always has a handkerchief ready for the rhino’s runny nose. But one day, Amos wakes up sick and he cannot go to work. The animals go looking for him and find him in bed, unable to do anything. So, the elephant plays a patient game of chess with Amos, the tortoise plays hide-and-seek, the penguin warms Amos’s feet while he sleeps and the rhino is always ready with a handkerchief. The friends have a wonderful time together and spend the night before going back to the zoo in the morning.

I love this book because it teaches a valuable lesson about friendship. Friends don’t just take from each other, they are also ready to give whenever they are needed. Amos gave and gave, but when the time came, the animals were ready and willing to give back.

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Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

Balloons Over BroadwaySadly, I didn’t find this book until yesterday, but I had to share it! “Balloons Over Broadway” is about Tony Sarg, the man who created the floating puppets in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Almost everyone I know watches some part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a Thanksgiving Day tradition! This book was fun and gave an excellent overview of the story behind the tradition–a great book to read with your family!

Tony Sarg became famous as a puppeteer in London. In fact, he was so famous that he got his own Broadway show in New York City. Everyone loved his marionettes, including the R.H. Macy, owner of Macy’s store–“the biggest store on earth.” Sarg first displayed puppets in their big windows for Christmas–moving puppets that got everyone’s attention, then he created puppets for the first of many annual Thanksgiving parades. Everyone loved it so much, that the next year, Sarg had balloons created and held up by sticks while the parade moved through town. But not everyone could see those balloons. Sarg kept working on it and one day, the idea hit him–why not create giant balloons filled with helium?! And with that, the traditional Thanksgiving balloons were invented and have been part of every single Thanksgiving Parade since.

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The Second-Best Children in the World

The Second-Best Children in the WorldHere is another book my future mother-in-law suggested I read this week. She said it was a favorite with her own kids and thought I might like it. The title really made me wonder if I should even take the time to read it, but I did. The book wasn’t too bad. Not at all realistic, but very sweet.

Three children decide that they don’t want to bother their parents with the burden of taking care of kids any longer, so they decided to leave. They take a car and start traveling the world. Sometimes they drive, sometimes they walk, and sometimes they sail, it just depends on where they are headed. The children miss their parents a little bit, but they know that their parents are happy not having to constantly care for their children. But, as they travel, they realize that they are growing and they need to go home to get new clothes! When they arrive, the parents tell their children that they are the best children in the world because they wanted to make their parents happy. But the kids don’t agree–if they did, they would be snobby children. So, they decide they are the second best children in the world.

Silly and cute–just my kind of book! My future mother-in-law was right :)

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Love You Forever

Love You ForeverI am spending Thanksgiving week at my future in-laws house. One of my mother-in-law’s favorite books is “Love You Forever.” Its a really sweet book about a mother’s love for her son no matter what he did or how old he got. (Which makes a lot of sense because my mother-in-law raised three boys!) The son learns from her never ending love and continues the tradition by loving his daughter in the same way. My favorite time of life the author mentions is when the boy is a teenager! He wears crazy things and listens to crazy music, but his mother still loves him. She always rocks him to sleep every night.

While she rocked him she sang: I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.

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Frog and Toad Together

Frog and Toad TogetherI have a confession–I hadn’t ever read this book until today. I happened to see it in Barnes and Noble the other day and recognized the title (from what, I am not sure.) However, “Frog and Toad Together” is one of the funniest and sweetest books I have read in a while.

Frog and Toad are best friends. They do everything together and they always help each other out. In the first of five stories, “The List,” Toad makes a list of all the things he needs to do that day. He crosses each item off after he completes it. But, as he is walking with Frog, his list gets blown away. Toad is devastated and asks Frog to run after it (Toad certainly can’t run after the list, running wasn’t on his list of things to do!). Frog doesn’t ever find the list and Toad doesn’t know what to do. So, they sit and wait until dark. Finally, Frog suggests that they go to sleep soon.

“Go to sleep!” shouted Toad. “That was the last thing on my list!” Toad wrote on the ground with a stick: Go to sleep. Then he crossed it out: Go to sleep. “There” said Toad. “now my day is all crossed out!” “I am glad,” said Frog. Then Frog and Toad went right to sleep.”

In the four remaining stories, Frog and Toad continue to be best friends learning about courage, patience, friendship, and will power. I love that each story has a valuable lesson and will make you laugh. This book is definitely worth the read.

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Reading to Children

Reading to ChildrenI was one of the lucky ones. One of the children who was read to every day and almost every night. My mom would read the Bible to me in the morning, my favorite books throughout the day, and my dad would read chapter books at night. Even long after I could read for myself, they still read to me. Maybe that is why I love reading so much. Maybe that is why, in the first grade, I was the best reader in my class even though I was blind in one eye. Reading is my escape from boredom. In books, my imagination is unleashed. I can live in the books that I read. But, it all started with the love of reading my parents gave to me.

In this article by Katherine Stone, she discusses 7 reasons to read to your child every day.

1. It’s time spent together.

2. It’s a conversation starter

3. It’s a great way to talk about emotional health. (“How would you feel if this happened? What would you do in this situation?”)

4. It’s a great way to honor individuality in your children.

5. You can open up new worlds for your kids.

6. You get a wealth of information on where your children might need help.

7. It can lead to a lifelong love of reading in your kids

I love these reasons. I wish more parents understood the many good things they could be doing for their children just by reading to them!

Here’s an article by¬†Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic a writer for the New York Times. She talks about how she enjoys reading to her child although she often finds it exhausting and frustrating. She mentions the different books she avoids reading to her son. Although I find that funny, I think it is perfectly okay. You should always enjoy the books you read to your child. But remember, reading to your child has very little to do with you–it’s about them and it always will be. Don’t avoid good books because you don’t like them. Give your children the opportunity to make their own decisions and find out what they love.

Take the time to be a good parent, teacher, babysitter, friend or nursery worker and read to children. Every moment you invest in those children is worth it.

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