In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Annie,

Happy Mother’s Day!

This is my first Mother’s Day without the presence of either Lizzie or Mona since I’ve been a mother. I’m feeling the satisfaction of motherhood more than the loss of breakfast in bed (although I confess I do miss that). They’re both in such good places right now – psychologically and physically – it makes me happy. I wish all those mothers of little ones out there a lovely day with strange meals and hand-picked bouquets.

Today I offer some golden oldie mother books:

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
, by Charlotte Zolotow (1963) with watercolor illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Mother is off-camera in this one, while a girl and a bi-pedal rabbit discuss possible gifts she could give her mother. It’s very rhythmic and lyrical.

Little Bear
(1957) by Else Holmelund Minarik also has Sendak illustrations, suffusing Little Bear with feeling. This book is three very short stories, all of which feature a patient and loving mother helping Little Bear to discover the world. At the end, when she appears at a birthday gathering her son has feared she forgot, she says, “I never did forget your birthday, and I never will.”

Are You My Mother?
by P.D. Eastman (1960): a baby bird hatches while mother is away and goes off in search of her. A classic – great for very little ones. This is part of the Cat in the Hat Beginners series, by a Dr. Seuss protégé. Quiet sense of humor.

And one written in the 21st century::

Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms
: a celebration of pretend play. A big brother and little sister are pretending various scenes: ambulance, firefighters, police officers, etc. Whenever Mom asks for affection, she’s brushed off “Too busy saving lives.” But she keeps gently coming back for more, and eventually gets what she’s after.

And lest we get too dewy-eyed about the Ideal Mother, I refer back to
Pirate Girl
in my April 30 post. A book which proves that Real Mothers are tougher than bad-guy pirates, and a lot more fun.

Have a great day!



1 comment:

  1. First off, I love this blog - the books, the descriptions, and the warmth you display for the books and for each other and your family.

    While we are on the topic of pirates and mothers, I just have to recommend The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate, which is brilliant for its pirate mom, its strong woman, and its anti-capitalist sentiment.