In honor of National Literacy Month, I'm taking off my mommy-brain hat and putting on my librarian-hat (under which is still a mommy-brain) and recommending some books for you and your kiddos to enjoy this month - and every month!
It's important to read books to our kids so they can grow their imagination and vocabulary. It's just as important as adults to model that behavior. Specifically, moms need to read to:
a. escape reality
b. remind yourself that you CAN, in fact, read AND you have time to do fun things!
Motherhood can turn our brains into mush if we let it. Or, we can work that muscle again and get our brain back, just like we work hard to get our body back!
Check out your local library and check some of these out!
Journey by Aaron Becker - Absolutely gorgeously illustrated children's books that are wordless, so any child can appreciate it. I love wordless books because they encourage kids, especially pre-schoolers, to interpret the pictures in their own way and come up with any story they want for that picture. It also creates independence because you can send your child to read a book on their own...and they can! My 4-year-old adores these books, and I can't get enough of them either.
Hi, Koo by Jon Muth - Haikus are never a favorite subject in school, which makes this book even more special. It tells the story of the seasons in this adorable, imaginative way using pictures and the
A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Other Animals - This is one of those books that makes you tilt your head and go "hmm!" at the end. It's about a hungry lion that eats other animals. Nature: yes. Heavy topic: maybe. It might bring up the "d" word ("death"), but in my experience reading it to my 4 and 2-year-olds, the kids find it really funny and cute. And there is something to be said about natural selection!
Llama Llama Mad at Mama - Of the dozens of Llama Llama books, this one is my favorite and I can tell you it's a library favorite as well; it's rare to find it available in our stacks! I love how it deals with emotions from both sides - baby Llama and Mama Llama - and could easily read as a parenting book. As a frantic mom with a long to-do list every day, I understand how Mama Llama just wants to check off items and get on with her day. But this also made me realize what we are asking of our kids when we take them with us on errands. The book does this in a sweet way, no judgements, and even offers a solution: love and understanding...and ice cream.
Potty and Other Board Books by Leslie Patricelli - Although they're board books for little hands, tots and adults alike will appreciate the funny pictures and straight forward language of these books. They deal head-on with topics from tooting to laughing to discipline.
Bossypants by Tina Fey - Hilarious, endearing, relatable, insightful, I had many "Stop! I'm laughing so hard I'm going to pee!" moments while reading this book (and basically doing anything else in life). Tina Fey does not disappoint with her serious insights on womanhood, careers, and motherhood that will make you think and tinkle at the same time.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo - I wrote a blog on this last year and I'm still amazed at how often I reference this book and its philosophy. The basic idea is to clear out anything from your life that doesn't invoke a joyful feeling. Sound hard? It is. The author makes a strong case for why this is the one and only guideline necessary when de-cluttering your home. Try it out!
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante - My family and friends are probably rolling their eyes right now because I talk about this book ALL.THE.TIME. I'm still reeling from it, and it's been months since I finished the Neapolitan Novels. This novel is both poetry and true life, far-fetched yet relatable, dramatic and sobering, and downright AMAZING. The characters become so real to you, their lives become actual sagas with legitimate problems, and you just get sucked in. When I finished the book, my jaw was practically on the floor. I was left speechless. What a journey it takes you on. I can't recommend this series enough!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - This is one of those books that I want to read over and over again. The imagery is simply stunning, and it makes you appreciate the power of words, as well as your own imagination. It takes you away from the cares of this world into a world of magic - but not Harry Potter magic - grown up, elegant enchantment. It's a must-read.
I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid - Don't read this book at night, alone, or in an isolated wooden cabin. It will give you the heeby-jeebies for sure! I literally couldn't put it down - my husband had to physically remove it from my hands as I stepped into the shower. It hooks you from the beginning and doesn't let you until you've gone so far into the twisted plot, you don't know whether to turn back...or end it. I promise that you will read this book in under 24 hours, no matter how many crazy kids are running around!