Every Christmas (birthdays, too) Scott gives each child one special picture book. Yes, our older girls are well past picture-book age by now—except that you’re never past picture-book age, not really. I’m certainly not. And this is a treasured family tradition; it’s always great fun to see what gems he comes up with.
His picks for Christmas, 2008:
Rilla: an oldie but one of the best. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. Our dog-eared paperback copy was recently destroyed in that little bit of flooding we had on my birthday. Scott replaced it with a hardcover, because Rilla is ripe for that time-honored, giggle-inducing refrain of “You monkeys you, you give me back my caps!”
Wonderboy: a Boynton book called Fifteen Animals! (Most of which are named Bob.) A perfect choice for our little guy, who loves rhythm, repitition, and all things Boynton.
Beanie: Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by the fabulous Mo Willems. This would have been a fine choice for any of our brood, but Scott singled it out for our belly-laughing Bean, and belly-laugh she did. We all loved the Caldicott honor-winning combination of black-and-white photo backgrounds and whimsical Willems art, and poor little Trixie’s desperate attempts to communicate the disappearance of her beloved bunny to her father are utterly priceless. A slam-dunk, daddy dear.
Rose: A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. This was one of the Cybils nominees, and when I read the library copy, I knew it was a keeper. Sweet, funny story about a rather curmudgeonly bear who, despite his best efforts, finds himself playing host to a persistent and amiable mouse. I showed it to Scott, who instantly pegged it as a perfect Rose book. Endearing art, charming story.
Jane: Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. Various children have been given its companion books, Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider, in years past. I believe Scott said he chose this one for Jane because of the line about the young fly being relieved to discover that he’s not the only kid at school who likes regurgitated food. (Cue satisfying shriek from thirteen-year-old.)
Of course our Christmas book bounty didn’t end with the Daddy-books, but the rest of the treasures must wait for another post.
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