Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 12: On the Night You Were Born

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a huge sap.   I cry easily.  Not in a wimpy kind of way, but in a sentimental/emotional kind of way.  When I was a little girl, I always thought it was really weird that my mom cried at the end of E.T.  Now I know why, of course, and I cry when he takes Gertie's flower and boards his ship, too.  I'm convinced that something about becoming a mom makes one cry more easily.  And every time I read On the Night You Were Born, I cry.  Every time.  I can't even get past the first page without getting choked up.  Whenever I pick up this beautiful story, I psyche myself up and am convinced I can make it through without crying this time.  I get through the first four lines just fine, but as soon as I get to the fifth line utter the words, "Life will never be the same," my eyes get teary and it's all over.  Consequently, I find that I don't actually read this story to my little ones all that often, even though I think it is one of the most beautiful children's books I've ever read.  It is touching, sentimental, poetic, and lovely in every way.  Kids like the soft, gentle rhymes and the gorgeous illustrations -- especially the dancing polar bears -- and the message that "you are the one and only ever you" is a wonderful one.  But to me, this is really more of a book for parents.  I love the way Tillman describes the magic and wonder of having a child, and every time I read it, it brings back the wave of love and amazement I felt the first time I held my little ones in my arms.  (Hence, the tears.)  I especially love the symbols and imagery she uses to show how the universe celebrated their arrival, from the moon that stays up until morning one day to the ladybug who lands and decides to stay.  "Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.  It's because they've been dancing all night for you!"  No doubt, my kids will think it is weird that this book always makes me cry, but someday, I hope they will understand why.


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