Friday, May 07, 2010

Books My Mother Read

If there ever was a read-aloud queen, it was my mom. She was the poster mother for reading to your children, beginning young, and continuing far past the years when they could read for themselves. Hundreds of golden days were spent with her voice reading stories out loud to her children. I chose a few to share today for Feed Me Books Friday.

The Poky Little Puppy -- who doesn't know this classic? But it is one of the very earliest books I remember. To this day, the sight of a strawberry growing in the grass jars my thoughts to the Poky Puppy's discovery of the strawberry. Last night Susie and I found strawb
erries growing out our back door, which prompted me to try again with a paper-page book. She was pretty distracted and grabby on the pages, but I tried again while feeding her breakfast this morning. It went GREAT! She was attentive most of the time while I held the book in my left hand, and fed her yogurt with my right. She munched on some Cheerios with her eyes glued to the illustrations. I was so excited to see her progress! This may need to be a morning ritual. Anyway, the Poky Little Puppy is a great mother's day choice, of course, because the Mama dog (who is never pictured in the book), is the moral guiding force. . . that is to say, she teaches her puppies right from wrong -- and they learn their lessons! I remember being EVER so disappointed for Poky Puppy having to go to bed without strawberry shortcake. My mom did a great job emphasizing what a tragedy that was and how Poky Puppy should have just obeyed in the first place!

2. Chicken Soup with Rice -- this is a family fave! Mom must have read this to us a zillion times, because as a toddler, my brother could recite the rhymes "paddle once, paddle twice, paddle chicken soup with rice". If you aren't familiar with this old book, I'll just tell you that it is a book of months, with each month telling you that chicken soup with rice was just the thing to eat! We begged Mom to get this kind of soup at the store (even though I remember not really loving the soup. . . I just wanted it because of the book). Maurice Sendak does the extraordinary illustrations. Here I have January, one side the words, one side the picture. Warning -- this book is addictive! I could read it a million times and recite the rhymes over and over. It's GREAT for preschoolers learning the months of the year, for early readers (because of the repetitive language) and just for fun! Grab a can of Campbells and break out this book for a special lunch time!


3. Poinsettia and Her Family -- written by Felicia Bond, of "If you give a Mouse/Moose/Pig" fame, this out of print book is a gold mine of ADORABLE pictures. I can only say I am too sad Amazon doesn't have the cover image available. I gave this book to my mom for Christmas about 4 years ago, because I'd found a used copy and I knew she's be thrilled. We used to get the Poinsettia books from the library as kids, and Mom could relate to poor Poinsettia who was just looking for a quiet place to read her book, but her house was fu
ll of siblings lying around "like seals". I've been searching for a link to show you some illustrations from the book, but you'll just have to take me on blind faith. Look for this oldie-but-goodie at the library!!

8 comments:

shopannies said...

fond memories of the poky little puppy

Anonymous said...

all the different desserts that the Poky little puppy missed out on!!!!!! And yes, I LOVE to read aloud, and to be read to..it reminds me of the sunny winter days in Wisconsin when we would gather in the Living Room, and mom would read. :) I remember I didn't have to sit strait in a chair, I could lounge on the floor with my legs all over the place and mom didn't care as long as I could hear. :)

~Anna

Anonymous said...

all the different desserts that the Poky little puppy missed out on!!!!!! And yes, I LOVE to read aloud, and to be read to..it reminds me of the sunny winter days in Wisconsin when we would gather in the Living Room, and mom would read. :) I remember I didn't have to sit strait in a chair, I could lounge on the floor with my legs all over the place and mom didn't care as long as I could hear. :)

~Anna

Sizzledowski said...

My little brother's favorite book was The Poky Little Puppy!! Golden Books are awesome. awwww.

Emily Benzing said...

The most memorable to me were the Little House on the Prairie books and The Borrowers, both series that I plan to read to my own children!

2 things I remember about mom reading;

1. If Abby and I started chit-chatting during the story (rarely) she stopped and said, "If you're not gonna listen then I'll just stop." What a threat! I remember we were like scared to talk...

2. If she fell asleep (happened as we got older and prompted her for more and more chapters at night) she would start syaing things that didn't make sense, or she would snore and throw Abby and I into giggles, thus waking her up. :)

3. If/when dad came upstairs, he would walk in, see us all on his bed and say, "Whatever."

I miss it sooo much!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

What a great idea for a post! I love classic books, although I'm not familiar with those. Thanks for the recommendations.

Janna said...

Oh Gretchen there is so much heart in this post!

Reading is such a myriad of emotional connections. Connecting with each other, the characters of the book... Your elegance with words stems from your mothers love to read to you from an early age I'm sure.

I loved the Poky little Puppy! Why on earth have I not read it to my B yet? Thanks for reminding me.

Again - a lovely way to honor your mother.

Rachel said...

My family really liked Chicken Soup with Rice too. My brother Jeff had all the poems memorized and would recite them each month (when he thought of it). I believe he's shared that book with his kids.