Cameron is doing a lot of reading lately, sitting with a book for a few minutes at a time, and reading out loud. The story always starts with, “Once upon a time.” This struck me as more than a little odd, as not a single book I read to him starts this way! So I thought I’d share with you a selection of the books he seems to enjoy the most right now.
The Way Back Home, by Oliver Jeffers
A sweet little fantastic adventure of a boy who meets a fellow youngster in need. This story has it all – a discovery of an exciting new toy in a closet, a crash landing on the moon, fear of dark and monsters, meeting a strange new friend. The two lunar landers problem solve together to find a way to get them both back home. The illustrations are simple and lovely, conveying action in simple series.
This book is probably a little old for Cameron in terms of concepts, but hey, he enjoys it. Predictably, he always asks “Why, Mommy,” when the airplane goes higher and higher. He was a little distressed at the monsters the two kids thought they heard in the dark.The illustrations sometimes confuse him, as multiple actions are often shown in one picture, such as the boy getting ready to jump, parachuting, splashing, and swimming are in the same picture. But he loves, loves, loves the final page. The little boy receives a delivery of a two-way radio, and doesn’t know what to do with it. But Cameron does! “Hello! Over! How are you? Over!”
My Night Forest by Roy Owen, illustrated by Amy Cordova
A quiet, gentle, and lyrical story that slows everything down at story time. Senses are explored in relation to the animals and their environment, and aspects of the environment are highlighted with repetition. The owl, wolf, bear, deer, and mouse’s viewpoints are all softly shown, and their worlds illustrated with gorgeous colour and just enough detail. Then it’s time for a little one (boy or girl isn’t specified) to go to sleep, with a mother wrapping him (or her) in security and reassurements that everything is as it should be. Tomorrow they will explore and share the forest animals’ world, but for now it is time to sleep.
I can’t tell you how many times Cameron has slowly drifted off to sleep listening to this story. The words have a pattern that matches sleeping breath nicely, guiding him to sleep. The senses are explored with beautiful imagery that Cameron seems to enjoy listening to as much as I like reading. When he’s too awake to drift, the story still captivates him. He’ll ask questions about the pictures, finding each animal or feature as it’s mentioned. If he’s super talkative, the illustrations are jumping-off points for discussion. Now, Cameron does get a little uncomfortable when the bear makes his appearance, but he’s picked up a fear of them somewhere.
The I LOVE YOU Book, by Todd Parr
Ah, Todd’s books! We’ve got a few, and each has been a big hit. This is Cameron’s latest fave. “Hearts mean love,” Cameron will tell me each time I pick up the book. There are hearts scattered all over the book, and he loves pointing them out.
Like Todd’s others, this book’s charm is in its simplicity, humour, and vibrant colours. The message? Love is unconditional and constant. I love you when you’re sick, well, having fun, when we’re not having fun. Most especially for Cameron, there is a page that says, “I love you when we’re apart.” It shows a mommy sitting in an office, with a picture of her child. We always chat about how we miss each other when I’m at work, and that I love him then too. He’s clearly reassured by this, and happy then to laugh at the stinky baby.