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!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 109: Blueberries for Sal

We're heading to Maine for a wedding tomorrow, so got several books on cd out of the library today for my son to listen to on our roadtrip.  And, since we're going to Maine, I thought Blueberries for Sal would be a perfect story to take along with us!  I just love Robert McCloskey's timeless tales that are so beautifully and masterfully crafted, and Blueberries for Sal is no exception.  You might remember little Sal from One Morning in Maine.  This time, she is venturing off to Blueberry Hill to collect blueberries with her mother.  Tin pail in hand, Sal picks blueberries the way I always did as a child (and still do, sometimes,) eating three handfuls for every one berry that ends up in the pail.  Her mother, of course, is focused on the task at hand, picking as many berries as possible so that she can preserve them for the winter months ahead.  Sal snacks while her mother picks, eventually wandering off toward the other side of the Blueberry Hill, where we meet another mother/child pair intent on eating their share of berries and storing up for the upcoming winter:  a mama bear and her cub!  In a clever juxtaposition of motherly love, nature, and young curiosity, we follow Sal and the little bear as they stray from their mothers in search of berries of their own, only to end up with the mother of the other.  McCloskey's drawings are fabulous, as always -- this is another Caldecott Honor book -- and capture the wonder of that summer afternoon perfectly.  I particularly love the illustration that appears on both the first and last page of Sal "helping" her mom can the berries in their kitchen.  I think Sal and my son must have a lot in common.  I also can't help but be reminded of the many summer days I have been fortunate to spend in my grandmother's Maine field, sitting down in the middle of a large clump of wild, low-bush berries, picking to my heart's content, dreaming of the pie that we'll later make and knowing that what we don't pick today, the deer might eat tonight.  As with One Morning in Maine and Make Way for Ducklings, McCloskey captures the  essence of a time gone by, forever preserving it for future generations.  Fall might have officially arrived here in New England, but this is one book that will remind us of the simple joys of summer all throughout the year. 


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