"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." -- Dr. Seuss
Books, books, and more books. The collection is ever growing in our home, which I love, as the smell of a new book and the feeling of breaking open its binding are the happiest of sensations. Pouring stories into AK's mind and heart has been an important piece of our everyday parenthood since we were putting her crib together. Books are constant companions, tools for our mind and our imagination, friends that are always near. Getting into scrapes with Anne, walking across the English countryside with Lizzy and Jane, wandering into magical Narnia with Lucy, fighting for justice with Atticus Finch; I've done all these things and these characters are beloved in my heart. I want AK to know these people, to have these adventures, to be inspired to always be learning more, to see heroes and heroines, and to come away with a greater love for the written word.
Sitting down and reading with Anna Kate, watching her discover the characters and stories that I know and love already or falling into an entirely new story together, is one of the dearest parts of motherhood for me. And when she stacks book after book on itself and plops down on the couch next to me to read every single one of them, my mama's heart swells. She's coming to love these stories, too, and I always want to be handing her more.
This list is just a few of the favorites that we started our bookshelves for AK with. Some I have loved since childhood, as well, and some we've come to know just in the past year. There are countless more that I would put on a list for you, but let's start here with these few dear ones.
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey // It's gentle and full of the sweetest simplicity, and every time we read it AK and I dream about living on the coast one day, chasing seagulls and digging up clams for dinner.
Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall // One of the best stories ever put to paper. Childhood come full circle in the sweetest possible way.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney // I have loved this book for years; her travels, her work, her little cottage by the sea, and the lovely thing she does to "make the world more beautiful." Miss Rumphius would be the dearest kind of lady to know.
Corduroy by Don Freeman // a classic that I think must sit on every child's shelf.
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman // 7 kids, insanely picky eaters, an exhausted mama, lessons learned, a happy ending, all wrapped up in delightful rhymes.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans // The whimsy of the illustrations in the Madeline books feels, to me, like Paris must feel: dreamy, fanciful, full of art.
George Washington's Cows by David Small // Hilarious and happy. A lighthearted piece of "history." ;)
James Herriot's Treasury for Children by James Herriot // Some of the most tender, gorgeous stories from the heart of a faithful British veterinarian and the illustrations are at the top of some of my forever favorites list.
Our Corner Grocery Store by Joanne Schwartz // This was a library find that was read about 136 times in the span of the few weeks that we had it, so it had to become a staple on our bookshelf. It's delightful.
Paddington by Michael Bond // Truly, what's more charming than a bear who travels to England from darkest Peru with suitcase full of marmalade??
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson // The "Bear" books were a Chick-Fil-A kids meal discovery that won a spot in AK's heart a few years ago and have sat on our shelf ever since. There's a whole sweet little collection.
It's just a handful of a list, but it is a beautiful place to start.
Happy Reading, dear ones!