Happy Day of Families!
Mother’s Day is past and Father’s Day is just around the corner. Today we celebrate all families everywhere with picture books.
Love You Forever written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Sheila McGraw (1998) This classic story of a mother’s love for her son takes the reader on a journey from the cuddly infant to the troublesome teen and finally to the grown man who takes care of his mother. I dare you to read it without crying!
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs is a true story written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola (1973). Tommy visits his grandmother Nana Downstairs and his great-grandmother Nana Upstairs as a young child. But at four years of age he learns that Nana Upstairs won’t be there any longer and he must deal with how to say good-bye to Nana Upstairs.
Grandfather Tang’s Story written by Ann Tompert and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker (1973) is a beautiful book. Grandfather Tang uses seven tangrams to tell stories to his granddaughter. Each one of them has tangrams that they rearrange to make animals that try to eat or outdo the other. It’s a great book to use with mathematics too.
Knock Knock, My Dad’s Dream For Me written by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier (2013) is a sad but beautiful story about a boy who plays an early morning wake up game of knock knock every day before he gets out of bed, but one day the knock knock does not come and the boy doesn’t know where his father has gone. He finally writes his father a note an leaves it on the desk in his bedroom. Two months later, he receives a note from his father telling him that he will not be coming home, and that he must learn for himself how to do all the things his father would have taught him if he were there. The reader and the boy never know exactly why the father is gone, just that he is never returning. In the letter, the father tells the boy to knock knock his own doors down and enter places he could not go, and reminds him that even though he (the father is not there), he (the son) is.
My Great-Aunt Arizona written by Gloria Houston and illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb (1997) is a true story of the author’s great-aunt who grew up in a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She dreamed of going to faraway places, but instead became a teacher in the same one-room schoolhouse she attended. But she did influence a lot of lives and she inspired her students to travel and do the things she never did.
Dozens of Cousins written by Shutta Crum and illustrated by David Catrow (2013) is a fun-filled humorous look at family reunions. The cousins are beasties and ogres who cannot be tamed, but they are loved and squeezed, tickled and kissed by their aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They play and play and play until they are dragged to the water pump to be washed up for dinner. Then they eat and eat and eat. At bedtime, they throw their underwear out the window and fling themselves outside in their jammies to catch fireflies. Finally exhausted, they drift off to sleep in beds, on the floor, and draped over uncles to dream of next year’s family reunion.
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco (1998) is one of many books written by Patricia Polacco about her family. I chose this one, number one because I love it, number two because I wanted to end with a great book about brothers and sisters, and number three because I’m sharing with you a fantastic read aloud of this book by Melissa Gilbert. Enjoy!