It's in the early morning still working on that first cup of coffee hours with four snug in one bed (We should have gotten a King size.)
It's in that in between time when magically we are ready to go and still have 5 more minutes to spare.
It's in the answer to "can we watch another show?"
It's in the tension of the early evening when dinner is not quite on the table but a good hangry distraction is in high demand, for everyone's sanity.
It's in the final moments before saying goodnight, the ritual we have practiced since they were each tiny babes, one last story to sweeten your dreams
This is what reading is for us. It's woven so tightly in the moments of our day. It's a vital distraction and a place for connection. I can't imagine what the day would look like without our books.
This is why book reading to my children is not just about raising good readers, teaching vocabulary, sharing new perspectives. The reading becomes as much for me as it is for them. The books we choose matter to ME. Yes, they would possibly be content reading the same two stories over and over and over again. Sometimes I concede. But as often as I can, I pick out books that inspire ME, teach ME, delight ME. I'm just hoping they pick up a little bit as they go along.
Therefore, the books I am highlighting today are not necessarily kid chosen. These are titles you can go to when you are looking for a particular story in your life. It's okay. I give you permission. Be selfish. Literature is available to all.
When you want to subtly communicate to your children that you need a little personal space…
Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol
I resonated so much with this grandma. Sometimes you have to climb all the way up to Mars just to get some peace and quiet to do your creative work.
When you feel like you have an important story to tell and you can’t find anyone to listen…
Bear has a Story to Tell by Phillip Stead
And sometimes, when you are doing that creative work, you need to remember to be patient and trust your friends will hear your story when it is time.
When you have want to learn how to see the beauty and magic in your current world view…
Beyond the Pond by Joseph Kuefler
Come for the stunning artwork, stay for the message at the very end of the book.
When you live in a world where everyone is hustling and you just want to appreciate the slow life…
“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth by Eric Carle
I love the sloth. My new favorite animal. He is slow and he is proud of it. Be the sloth. New motto.
When you want to remind your children that you once lived a really cool life…
My Dad Used to be So Cool by Keith Negley
We may not have all been a singer in a rock band like the dad in this story, but we all do feel like we were cool once upon a time, and we want these offspring to know it!
When you want to appreciate the beauty and suspense of a snow day…
Before Morning by Joyce Sidman
I know many are still battling the snow that just won’t quit, but meanwhile I get lost in all of the snowy books longing for that cozy quiet feeling it brings (while I sit on the patio enjoying a gorgeous and sunny spring afternoon. Hashtag Texas Living Problems)
When you want to forget about all that snow and be reminded that spring comes again…
Curious Garden by Peter Brown
If you have been to the Highline in New York City or the 606 in Chicago, you will appreciate this illustrated depiction of these amazing urban gardens. And if not, you will want to plan a visit.
When you feel like you are too small to make a big impact on the world…
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
A little cloud reminded me I sometimes need to think small about my efforts. Small can be important too.
When You want to understand how to bring in more nuance into your political discussions…
A Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton
Explorers of the Wild by Cale Atkinson
Both are great stories about two different perspectives on the same story and how we can learn to see each other and appreciate that. Perhaps I should send a few copies to Washington?
You are sure to find something in this list you can both agree upon. What do you love reading with the small people in your life?