Ah, reading, my old friend. Before I had a baby, I was one of these people who liked to read for pleasure, a book before bed, as a method of relaxing. These days, its more like my head hits the pillow and I black out until inevitably the child wakes up and wants the bottle which is right next to his head handed to him. My book shelves have changed greatly; my library membership now more utilised in the children’s section than the adults – although this is something I’m working on. Here is a look at what books we’ve been reading lately.
The Owl and the Kitty Cat – Melissa Everett and Mark Kummer
I definitely remember this having a different, potentially less politically correct, title as a child, but this version is most definitely “Kitty Cat”. A colourful, simplified poem with all the workings of the original, this book has beautiful illustrations and is a nice short bedtime read that did keep E’s attention. I’m a big fan of Kitty’s proposal, in her calling him her husband to be before even asking – talk about a girl with confidence! He doesn’t seem to give her an answer for a good year afterwards though, which I’d say made the rest of the trip quite awkward. Lots of animals, colour and the strangest combination of foods in a (spoiler alert) wedding feast ever, in board book format so the toddler can’t rip it. Definitely worth checking out as a bedtime tale.
I Love You Just the Way You Are – Virginia Miller
Bartholomew Bear is a toddler who is good at being an asshole, but remains, of course, with the eternal love of his parent. Upon reading his behaviour, the grumpiness, not liking anything, unwillingness to do what he was told to do, I definitely saw some parallels being drawn between him and my own tiny terror these days. But despite his flaws, his grumpiness and feeling generally crap, some words of love and kindness make him feel better and do what he’s told (for now). Not exactly Ulysses, but not a bad message nonetheless. Though I’m not sure about teaching my toddler the word “Nah”, he’s already bad enough with the head shaking and the looks of pure disbelief when I try to get him to do something that clearly say “Really Mammy, really?”.
One Ted Falls Out of Bed – Julia Donaldson
I must admit, I judged this one by the cover. I spotted that it was written by Julia Donaldson, her of Gruffalo fame, and knew this would be good. I was not disappointed. Ted falls out of bed. The poor pet, he’s probably very cold and potentially sore, that bed is up fairly high. A counting story, it details all the different things in the room and everything that happens in Ted’s attempt to get back into bed – a great story for the toddler attempting escape at all cost – “See, Ted wants to go back to bed. So does Mammy, and so should you”. It’s a lovely little story, beautifully illustrated, and one I think we’ll be going back to more often.
Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
This one was a present from the lovely Siobhn, so a permanent fixture on the bookshelves. Up until recently, the only place I’d seen this was an episode of Friends, which made it seem like an absolutely lovely story. They left out the rather creepy middle bit, where the mother drives across town to break into her adult sons house through the window and through some form of serious strength manages to pick him up and rock him, while he’s asleep, without waking him. I have visions of waking up to find Himself’s Mammy sitting on the edge of the bed – to say I’d freak out to find anyone in the room who wasn’t there when we were asleep would be apt, so to find someone rocking himself back and forth and singing would be bordering on Criminal Minds territory. I get that there is a deeply sentimental backstory to the book, but that bit really didn’t sit right with me – could she not just ring him, or tell him during their visits? Why the need for the breaking and entering? And just how deep of a sleeper was the son? I’d be seriously concerned if someone managed to creep in, pick me up while sleeping and sing to me while rocking me and I didn’t stir once! While the sentiment of the story of the endless love and protection of a mother is there, there are easier ways to do it (requiring less of an Olympic Weightlifting regime too). I was expecting the warm and fuzzies that I get from something like “Guess How Much I Love You” but wound up feeling rather let down by the middle of the book because of all the questions raised.
That’s what we’ve been reading lately; have you read them? What have your thoughts been? Let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments, and what I should be looking out for!
(I was not sent any of these books for review purposes, all bar one came from Cork City Library, however asa participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking toÂ Amazon.co.uk, I may get a few pingins if you decide to purchase any of these after my glowing reviews by clicking on the links in the name. No pressure, promise.)
If you liked what you’ve seen here, perhaps you’d like to check out my book review of a more Grown-Up Book, “I Forgot To Take My Pill” by the wonderful Sharyn Hayden here. Go on, you know you’re only dying to.