Monthly Archives: May 2014

Are You My Mother?


Expecting her baby to arrive soon, a mother bird leaves her nest and egg to gather food. When the baby hatches ahead of schedule, he goes out to search for her (without having any idea what to look for).  After much confusion, there is a joyful reunion.

The language here is basic. Prosaic, even. But the pictures are great and the concept reliably amuses (my mother used to read it to me).

Author: P.D. Eastman
Illustrator: P.D. Eastman


The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day


The Bear family didn’t always live in the
big tree house down a sunny dirt road
deep in Bear Country.

Years ago, when Brother Bear was an only
cub, they lived in a hillside cave halfway
up Great Bear Mountain at the far edge of
Bear Country.

And years ago, when I was an only child and the age my youngest is now, my parents gave me this book because we were moving. It must have helped. I came back to it many times over the years and now it is one of my youngest’s most requested bedtime stories.

Author: Stan & Jan Berenstain
Illustrator: Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Napping House


There is a house,
a napping house,
where everyone is sleeping.

And in that house
there is a bed,
a cozy bed
in a napping house,
where everyone is sleeping.

A beautifully-illustrated rainy day, cozy bed, sleepy family, and unexpected visitor combine with gently-rhythmic prose to create a warm and funny book.

Author:  Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood


Bembelman’s Bakery


This is the origin story of a (fictional) hugely-popular bakery. Back in the Old Country, seven children decide to help their mama by baking bread. Like The Duchess Bakes a Cake, things quickly spiral out of control, but the flavor of this book is completely different:

“This is not just bread,” he cried. “It’s meat and potatoes!
It’s strudel and pie! It’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner all at
once! It’s apples and raisins, vodka and noodles, every taste
you ever wanted to taste, all in each wonderful bite.”

I always enjoyed this as a kid and it is now one of my youngest’s very favorites.

Caveat: Corporal punishment clearly is an option for this family, but the reference is fleeting.

Author: Melinda Green
Illustrator: Barbara Seuling

Moo, Baa, La La La!


“No, no!” you say,
“that isn’t right.
The pigs say
all day and night.”

This book has eleven sentences; there isn’t really a plot. It is just an excuse for spending time with toddlers making animal sounds, telling jokes they can understand, and sending them off to bed giggling.

Author: Sandra Boynton
Illustrator: Sandra Boynton