I just attended a baby shower and, being a writer, I came up with books as gifts. So they’re in my head right now. I gave her the mother-to-be four favorite books that I read to my daughters when they were little.
Now it might take a bit of considering because that moral is pretty well buried in the silliness of little Tootle frolicking in a field of wildflowers when he’s supposed to be practicing being a locomotive. But this is a deep truth. There truly are nothing but red flags for little trains who get off the tracks.
I have a day job working with people who are off the tracks in a major way. And there are NOTHING but red flags in these people’s lives. Read your babies and grandbabies Tootle and make sure they get the point.
The Big Orange Splot
To go with Tootle I loved The Big Orange Splot by D. Manus Pinkwater. Some people mistake Tootle as a call to live a life of conformity. But there is a difference between following your dreams and being off the tracks. The Big Orange Splot is all about loving what is special about you. Plus, it’s a book long poem and it’s a joy to read.
My house is me
And I am it
And it looks like all my dreams.
Next is ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is the classic best book for children in my humble opinion.
How do you like to go up in a swing?
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it’s the pleasantest thing,
Ever a child can do.
I think this one is hilarious, so how far have we come from this?
The Whole Duty of Children
A child should always say what’s true
And speak when he is spoken to
And behave mannerly at table
At least as far as he is able.
The final one is “Maude and Claude Go Abroad” by Susan Meddaugh. This again is a book length poem. Susan Meddaugh is simply a genius. The way she twists the word to create her poem full of humor and whimsy is just a delight.
My favorite of many lines:
And then we laid eyes on
Land on the horizon.
I just love that the woman rhymed ‘eyes on’ with ‘horizon’. That’s just creative and funny and the book is full of smart, sharp language like this.
So what’s your favorite book from childhood? Yours and/or your childrens’? Do you read books to children? Do you read for fun, to teach, to quiet the little monsters down so they’ll go to sleep?Let’s talk about books that bring out the kid in us.