When I started writing this book-a-day portion of the blog, my intent was to focus exclusively on books for my five-year-old (he’s now six). Recently, however, I’ve noticed that my two-year-old twins have become increasingly curious about sitting and listening, which makes me feel guilty occasionally. They are simply too little to sit through or appreciate a long picture book like One Morning in Maine. As a result, I’ve begun including beautifully illustrated books for younger children with the hopes that that my kindergartner will in the least be attracted to the art. An example of what I’m talking about is a new book called Breathe, by Scott Magoon. There’s no story at all, really, but the pictures are warm and delightful. From time to time I kept Ray’s interest by asking him to read the words (he’s a beginning reader) but mostly he was focused on the book because a) the pictures are so inviting and b) he was tired.
Which gets to my next point. Breathe is a wonderful book to read before bed. It focuses on the relationship between a mother whale and her baby, and its underlying mantra is to just breathe. How very zen, I know. But I tell you, my two-year-olds were in complete awe. I wish I had a photo of my daughter’s wide eyes when she looked at the picture of the baby whale blowing water from its blowhole as it sat atop its mother. Sometimes I forget how short a time my girls have been on this planet. Everything pretty much blows their mind.
I’m generally partial to picture books that tell a fascinating or interesting story. Let’s face it, though. There’s nothing like a comforting nighttime book to settle everyone into sleep. Ray enjoyed the part of the book where the mother whale and her baby evade the watchful eye of the polar bear. ABZ