We’ve always read to our kids. When the boys were little, Dr. Seuss was the author of choice. When Tim, Matt & Pete were little, there were many books we loved. But when Sam came along, it was as though there had been an “explosion” in children’s literature. Maybe it was because the older boys had long since left the picture book section.
When Sam was a tiny baby, a good friend of ours (we called her “The Book Fairy”) started bringing Sam books. She never came over without bringing gifts; we finally had to forbid her from bringing presents except on special occasions. Being who she is, she came up with her ‘own special occasions.” She introduced us to so many great children’s books.
One of mine and Sam’s favorites, was “Good Night Moon” written by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. I remember sitting in the glider in Sam’s room at night, him in his yellow blanket sleeper, his little head nuzzled in my neck while I read to him. Afterwards, I rocked him to sleep.
“Goodnight Moon” is a delightful little book. It was first published in 1947. Our copy was a ‘board book,’ a book with hard cardboard pages just in case a certain someone might nibble on a page or two. We received several books for young children by Brown. “The Runaway Bunny” & “The Big Red Barn” became another two of our favorites.
One Christmas when Sam was about 5, I found a copy of “A Pussycat’s Christmas” in a book store. Brown wrote the text in 1949. Anne Mortimer provides the reader with the illustrations, and they are fabulous. Being a ‘cat people” we especially love this book. For our family, it is a must read every holiday season.
This was said about Margaret Wise Brown on the Internet…..
Can you finish this sentence? “In the great green room…..” To those who could complete the opening line of Goodnight Moon, chances are you’re a parent. It is the rare mom or dad who makes it through their child’s toddler years without memorizing at least a portion of this classic bedtime book. It’s no accident this story has lulled millions of children to sleep for over fifty years, since its author was one of the pioneers of children’s literature.
“Goodnight Moon” now has a cute parody. It’s called “Goodnight Goon – A petrifying parody.” Written and illustrated by Michael Rex. It’s a perfect book for Halloween time for young children. Rex kept one of the adorable themes of the original book and added the tiny white mouse in his edition. In Brown’s version, young children can look to see where the tiny mouse is going to be on the pages. Watch what happens to the mush by the end of the book.
When Sam was born there was a “parenting philosophy” that was considered “gospel” by many of our friends. We did not hold to these beliefs. Sam was fed when he was hungry, we held him when he needed comforting, we did not let him scream himself to sleep. I picked him up when he wasn’t crying, we adapted our schedules to fit his newborn rhythms and (gasp!) sometimes, no, he was nearly always rocked to sleep. We were determined that we weren’t going to follow some rigid routine thought up by some *$%+!*#* author who wanted to pass along his or her “whacked out style” of child rearing.
So – We were rebels. I’m glad & I still think about that when I check on my sleeping child in the middle of the night….I’d do it again in a heart beat.