We Ask a Book Blogger: What Book Do You Like to Give to New Mothers?
Each month, we present a panel of book bloggers with a question relating to children’s books and we share their views here on the blog. If you missed last month’s post on our bloggers’ favorite books of poetry, you can read it here .
This month, in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to ask our bloggers what book they love to give to new mothers or mothers-to-be. As I’ve come to expect from this terrific panel, the answers cover a wide range from the classics to the unexpected. There were a few I had to look up that I can’t wait to check out in person. Since my own sister is expecting a baby very soon, I am taking notes from this post and will definitely add a few to my list of books to stock my future nephew’s library!
What is one book to add to a new mother’s children’s book library? This is an amazingly difficult question to answer. Do I go with the traditional picture books that feature a mother and her young child such as Mama, Do You Love Me by Barbara M. Joosse? Or maybe something a bit humorous and less traditional like Marla Frazee’s The Boss Baby? Or maybe something practical like Doreen Cronin’s M.O.M. (An Operating Manual)? Or maybe something more multicultural like Floating on Mama’s Song by Laura Lacamara or Lullaby (For a Black Mother) by Langston Hughes & Sean Quall? This can be a crazy hard decision. Since I can’t decide maybe I will just give them all.
– Alyson, Kid Lit Frenzy @alybee930
I love to give every new mom a board book the baby can start being around right away. The Mini Masters board books by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober, especially A Magical Day with Matisse, are great because they pair gorgeous art with fun-to-read rhymes. It may be a while before Mom gets to a museum, and new parents need art, too!
– Tegan, TSquared Blog @ttigani
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown! I know this might not be the most original answer, but my mother read me that book all the time as a child. When I went to college she gave me a copy to take with me. And, recently, I found some Goodnight Moon stationary, which I now use for all my letters to her. There’s a reason it’s a classic.
-Rachel, Rachel Ann Hanley
Only one?? No fair! There are so many wonderful children’s books still in print, and so many beautiful new ones being published, that I could easily come up with dozens that belong in every new mother’s library.
What to choose? On the Day You Were Born? On the Night You Were Born? Peter Rabbit or Winnie the Pooh? Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle – the list of possibilities goes on and on. Of course, one could always choose a standard classic like Pat the Bunny or Goodnight Moon (but everyone buys those!), or something different like The Story of Babar or Make Way for Ducklings. Or you could purchase a modern delight like Mama Says: A Book of Love for Mothers and Sons by Rob D. Walker, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, or Meet Me At the Moon by Gianna Marino.
But okay, okay, if you’re going to make me select just one, I’ll go with a childhood favorite: When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne. I can still remember my parents reading these wonderful poems to me. And I can still recite bits and pieces of them, many decades later. In fact, I still have my much-loved copy! This is the kind of gift book that lasts a lifetime.
– Joanne, My Brain on Books @JoanneRFritz
Recently a number of my bookish friends have announced that they’re expecting. I really like to try and personalize each book I buy but my general go to books are The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and anything by Jan Brett or Jerry Pinkney. The Silverstein book was my favorite as a child so it holds many wonderful memories. Jan Brett and Jerry Pinkney have some of the best illustrations. Also, Mo Willems for humor!
– Heidi, YA Bibliophile @hmz1505
When your little one is at his littlest, board books are a fantastic option for those pudgy fingers! Add Tana Hoban’s Black & White to your library, for sure. It unfolds accordion-style, and the stark contrast of black to white is stimulating for those curious newborn eyes. A fun read aloud that was a favorite in my family is It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler — and it is hysterical! Why be a bunny when you can be a bear? P.J. Funnybunny is a rascal who sets off for a new life, and it’s deeply funny with deeper heart. Fantastic for repeated lap sessions!
– Carter, Design of the Picture Book @carterhiggins
Another mention of On the Day You Were Born…
The one book I would include in a new mother’s library would be On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier. It is a lovely blend of art and science and describes the earth and its creatures welcoming a new baby. Ms. Frasier’s artwork is simple and bright, and the science facts are a good balance. On the Day You Were Born is a celebration and a promise of how the world and its inhabitants are all part of each other.
– Rene, Notes from the Bedside Table
And one more vote for Margaret Wise Brown’s classic…
Since my “baby” is 25, I’m not up-to-date with the most current children’s books, but a classic that every child’s library should contain is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I read this book to my son so many times, I can almost recite the whole thing to this day. My son took great comfort in the familiar objects and the bedtime routine in the book and, once he discovered where it was, had to point out the mouse in each picture. I think the real beauty of the book is the simplicity of its message. This book has stood the test of time for a reason.
– Kathy, Bermudaonion’s Weblog @bermudaonion
What books do you give to new mothers or parents? I love giving The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch or Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney if the baby is a girl, and Someday by Alison McGhee for babies of either sex. We’d love to hear more suggestions from you!