The beauty of children’s books is that we get transported right back to our own childhood. Leafing through page after page of colourful illustrations and simple but meaningful words and stories lets us find a moment of joy and happiness with our children. And there is so much variety on offer when it comes to children’s books – so many themes and storylines to choose from. Take, for example, children’s books for mother’s day.
Since the time I started reading to my son (since he was just about 10 days old if I remember), I have used books to help him make sense of this rich world that he has been born into. New words & objects, concepts, rituals, traditions, everything was easier when it was introduced by way of books.
Around the time he turned 2 years old was when he started developing the patience and interest to sit through an entire story. He asked for the big, fat book of fairy tales to be read to him. He listened with intent and followed the stories of the various characters he heard of. He followed the text in the pages and by the third or fourth reading knew when to turn the page to the next one. He even began to narrate the same stories back to me in the right sequence too.
This heralded the beginning of a new phase in his relationship with books. And I jumped at the chance to fill up his library with new books. Books which would teach him more, tell him deeper tales & fire his imagination just a little bit more.
The second Sunday of May
I also saw this as an apt moment to introduce him to celebrations and events that are a part of the children’s world such as Diwali, Birthdays and the Hallmark calendar dates such as Mother’s Day.
Well, I am not the kind of mother who will want my child to hand-make me a card and wish me especially on the second Sunday of May. He will be taught that love and gratitude are to be displayed in moments rather than dates. But I could not let an opportunity like this get away and not read some lovely books for him. So this is what we are reading all this month – a mother and child special.
Let’s read some books!
First up is our all-time favourite and a tear-jerker at that!
Love You Forever
Author: Robert Munsch
Illustrated by: Sheila McGraw
Publishing house: Firefly Books
First published on 1st October’ 1986
This one brought out all the waterworks right from the first time I read it to #babyT and still does manage to every time.
The story shows a young mother with her newborn child and then the boy as he grows up to be 2, 9, a teen to a grown-up man. In all these moments, the mother wants to tear her hair out and scream “This kid is driving me CRAZY.” #Truestory right? But she still creeps up to his bedside at night when he is asleep, holds him in her arms and heart and sings him a song full of love. And then one day she grows old and is too weak to hold him. Then its the son’s turn to pay his mom a visit.
BabyT proudly claims that he is the 2-year-old in the book, sitting right beside the toilet, flushing things down like his mother’s expensive watch. And just like the mama in the book, sometimes I wonder too what I have done to deserve all this?
Probably a whole lot of good. 🙂
If you are a boy mom then this book will strike a special chord with you. You can buy this book here – Love You Forever
Carry Me, Amma
Author: Shamim Padamsee
Translated by: Suvarna Sridhar
Illustrated by: Ajanta Guhathakurta
Publishing house: Tulika Books
First published in 2014
This was our first book from the house of Tulika. They have such a huge range of wonderful books relevant to the Indian context. Also what I love most about Tulika is most of their books are available as bilingual books. We have the English – Marathi version of this book.
It tells the story of how baby animals want their amma (mother) to carry them and their mother responds by telling them to hop on to her back or cling to her belly or jump into her (kangaroo) pouch. It shows children how animals carry their babies and how humans do.
I love that the book ends with a “Carry me, papa” where a baby seahorse is asking its predominant parent the father to do the carrying.
I have used this book to get #babyT back into the groove with babywearing. And I truly wish that in future editions, Tulika will show babywearing illustrations in this book.
You can buy this book here – carry me amma
Author: Nandini Nayar
Translated by: Vidhu Purkayastha
Illustrated by: Zeel Sanghvi
Publishing house: Tulika Books
First published in 2012
Guddu’s mother wants to take a photo of him, with an old-fashioned camera. But she doesn’t want any of Guddu’s animal toys to share the screen space with him (maybe she needs a photo for his school ID card). However this makes Guddu sad and he doesn’t feel like smiling for the camera… until a little animal pokes, tickles or licks Guddu.
Ma soon finds out that the best smiles are when you are surrounded by your best pals.
This is another of our favourites from Tulika Books. It is a bilingual book again and makes for easy reading. The graphics show cute, cuddly animals made of cloth. Guddu’s Photo is a magical story where toys come to life and make a little boy happy.
You can buy the book here – Guddu’s Photo/Guddu Ki Photo (Bilingual: English/Hindi)
My Mummy by Peppa Pig
Publishing house: Ladybird Books
First published in 2012
I picked this book to gift it to a friend but when #babyT saw it, he squealed in delight and asked me to read it to him. The book has Peppa praising her mother for being the best mummy in the whole wide world – “she is very serious, about playing with me and George” says Peppa. BabyT especially loves the scene where mummy pig is working hard on her laptop from home, “Just like Tara” he said.
All a very simple and fun Peppa story, that like everything Peppa pig ends in muddy puddles.
This is in a board book format and may suit younger babies too. You can buy this book here – Peppa Pig: My Mummy
Do you have my purr?
Author: Judy West
Illustrated by: Tim Warnes
Publishing house: Little Tiger Press
First published in 1999
A little kitten seems to have lost his “purr” and despite his mother’s assurances that he will find it soon enough, sets out to look for it. Along the way, he asks all the animals and birds on the farm if they’ve seen his purr. But they only know where their Moo, Oink, Quack, Squeak or HootHoot is. A great way to introduce kids to animals on the farm and the sounds they make.
Eventually, little kitten comes back to his mummy, who tells him that his purr is inside him and will show up when he is happy. Happy with this knowledge kitten does purr and all is well with the world again.
You can buy this book here – Do You Have My Purr?
I’m not cute!
Author & Illustrator: Johnathan Allen
Publishing house: Boxer Books
First published in 2005
Little Owl is feeling a bit grumpy and hopes no one will cross his path while he is out on his walk. But there are creatures lurking who want to hug him and call him “Cute”. But baby owl is not cute, he is a mean, hunting machine of course. And only his mummy owl knows what a “huge, scary, sleek, sharp-eyed hunting machine” he really is, albeit a cute little one.
A funny story that is sure to have your little one in splits, if you do the voices right of course. You can buy this book here – I’m Not Cute! (Baby Owl)
Author: Karishma Mahbubani
Illustrated by: Sandhya Prabhat
Publishing house: Multistory Learning Pvt Ltd. (Book Lover’s Program for schools)
First published in2014
Dev wants to help around the house, but his attempts mostly end in disasters. Are you in that phase with your toddler where he wants to and tries to help you with things around the house – mopping, swapping and brushing the grimiest nooks being the most favourite? Then this book is for you.
Dev is banished and told not to help, but he can’t stop himself and wants to clean up his sister’s room. But instead of disaster, something incredible happens and his mummy is overjoyed.
What could it be? – Curious Sameer series
Illustrated by: Francesco Manetti
Publishing house: Karadi Tales
First published in 2013
Mummy has a special surprise for Sameer. He wonders what is inside the special package – and guesses if it will help him soar, make stuff or even enter a new world. His mother assures him it will do all that and more.
What could it be indeed? The big reveal happens only when Sameer opens his gift and you will agree that his gift will open a whole new world for him.
Whose lovely child can you be?
Illustrated by: Christine Tappin
Publishing house: Karadi Tales
First published in 2010
Gulgul is upset to hear someone on the playground tell her that she is not her mumma’s child and that she is a “stray” Mumma decides this is the best day to tell Gulgul the story of how she came into their lives.
But soon a virtual war of words happens where everyone, Mumma, pappa, brother, grandparents and uncles and aunts want to win and say that “Gulgul is mine.”
Gulgul realises that she is very special and very loved.
A great book on adoption. You can buy the book here – Whose Lovely Child Can You Be? (Karadi Tales)
The Giving Tree
Publishing house: Particular Books by Penguin group
First published in 1964
A very famous book, The Giving Tree has inspired many lives – young and old. A tree loved a little boy very much and every day the boy would come to spend time with her. She sees him grow and go through all of life’s ups and downs. In all his stages the tree doesn’t stop giving – shade, apples, wood or a place to sit and relax.
The Giving Tree has meant a lot of different things, but when we picked it up this time, I couldn’t help but notice how much like a mother the tree is. She gives and gives and her only reward is seeing her child happy. Making her child happy and giving may almost kill her but she still doesn’t think twice about offering whatever little she has.
While we may like to think that the mother of today is not all sacrificing, her priority is always her child. Times may have changed but mothers will never stop giving more than their 100% to their kids.
Have you read The Giving Tree? You can buy it here – The Giving Tree
Which book do you think you’d like to read to your little ones this Mother’s Day? Do you have any mommy-child favourite books you would recommend? Let me know in comments.