I have lived through some amazing adventures. I have lunched with kings, explored distant and magnificent lands, fought in tremendous battles for justice and truth, and traveled to the far reaches of the galaxy. I am not a diplomat or explorer, warrior or scientist. I am a mom, who read to her children and in doing so, got the greatest gift of all, the ability live unique and splendid adventures through the eyes of my children, as we entered into the wonderful world of books:
Love You Forever, by Robert Munsch, is perhaps one of my favorite books. It tells the story of the unwavering love between a mother and her son. No matter how old he becomes, or how far he travels, this is an unyielding and unbreakable bond. When reading this most tender story to my children, I sang a melody for the lullaby in the story. Though my children are grown, I am occasionally asked to sing it to them again. For them, it is a fond memory, for me…so much more.
Dragon Stew, by Tom McGowen is the whimsical tale of a demanding king, a resourceful young man and a truly unique dragon who learn over time the meaning of what is really important in one’s life.
The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss expresses the significance of caring for the world in a way only Theodore Geisel could convey. Through the use of descriptive rhyme and innovative new words, Geisel creates a world that is lost as a result of excess and greed, only to be recovered because of purity of heart, innocence and love. It is truly an inspirational work, meaningful to young and old alike as we all identify with the tragedy of loss due to greed and the treasure that is our earth.
Song and Dance Man, by Karen Ackerman reminds us of the importance of our past as brought to life through the accounts of our elder family members. Grandpa shares his experiences as a song and dance man, bringing his past to life for his grandchildren, as well as recreating an all but forgotten era for those who read it.
Just For You, by Mercer Mayer is the adorable story of small child’s attempt at doing something ‘˜just right’ for his mommy. He tried and he tried and just didn’t seem to succeed, until the last attempt of all. Simply adorable, it is a must read!
The Kingdom of the Singing Birds, by Miriam Aroner & Shelly Haas is the meaningful tale of a far away kingdom which is home to the most lovely and rare birds in all the land. Sadly, these caged birds won’t sing, and none of the wise elders can figure out why! The kingdom sends for the one man who can offer the king the answers he seeks and guide him on the right path to correct the problem. This moving story reminds us of the beauty of the spirit and the joy of the soul and what happens when these two elements are not permitted to thrive.
Wolf Plays Alone, by Dominic Catalano shares in clever rhythmic patterns the story of a wolf who wants to play his horn, alone. Learn what happens when teamwork comes into the forest in the form of all his animal friends!
Can You Find Sadie?, is just plain fun! Sadie the puppy keeps hiding, and it is up to the reader to find her! Where can she be? You and your child will just love where that silly puppy hides!
The Very Best Hanukkah Gift, by Cherie Karo Schwartz offers a touching glimpse into the meaning of giving and love through the eyes of a child, little Miriam, who, along with her brother and sister, are off to find the perfect Hanukkah gift for her grandma, Bubie Rae. Go with her on her amazing adventure as she struggles to find the right gift, and discover what she presents to her grandma, at the end of the tale. This sweet story it has become a holiday tradition in our home.
Anything by Dr. Seuss. It may appear to be cheating, but anything by Dr. Seuss is worth reading, and reading often. A master of his or any time, works like Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hatches the Egg, The 500 Hats and so many others will never become routine, never boring and will convey in tender meaning, the importance of kindness, caring and understanding to all who read it.
So you see, I have truly been on some amazing adventures to some fantastical lands. And although some may find it mundane, to me, they have been the greatest adventures of all.