Sunday, March 11, 2007

Over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas, we're sharing stories about reading books to our children (or memories of books read to us as kids.

Here's my story...

I joined one of those book of the month clubs for kid's books. I got a lot of books, most of them great. Some of them, just dust-collectors. A few of them became super-favorites for Stinkerbell. Her favorite one for a long time during her toddler days, and it still gets a lot of face-time, was "How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?"

her toddler days are long gone. I just might cry right now.

With its light, rhymes, Stinkerbell would listen to how Papa and Mama would tell the dinosaur goodnight and then shake her finger at the naughty dinosaurs as they threw their tantrums and avoided bedtime.

The inside cover pages were filled with drawings of different dinosaurs playing with toys that are found in any child's bedroom. One had an airplane. Another bounced a ball. One was reading a book. Stinkerbell would point her chubby, toddler finger at each dinosaur as I would count how many dinosaurs she saw.

I would say, "Which one has a choo choo?"

"daaaar. choo choooooo!"

The dedication page showed an Ankylosaurus yawning, dragging its blanket, walking away. Many times I'd get to this page and Stinkerbell would point to the blanket and make a sound.

One day, she pointed to the blanket, "me!"

"Me...?"

"me!" pointing emphatically at the blanket.

"That's the dinosaur's blanket."

"me!"

"Is that the dinosaur's blanket's name? Me?"

"me!" nodding. The poor child's mother is not very smart.

"Is that the name of your blanket too?"

"MEEEEE!" smiling.

Soon her blanket's name was extended to Meme. But that's how she taught her mommy something using her favorite book.

But my favorite memory of reading this book to Stinkerbell as a toddler was her emotional reaction to the end of the story.

Throughout the sweet book, the dinosaurs are resisting telling their Papa and Mama goodnight. All through the story, Stinkerbell would scold the dinosaurs. She knew better (not that she DID better herself.) It was her responsibility to teach her dino friends to get their long, scaly tails in bed on time and without throwing a fit.

Finally, the Mama and Papa get the sleepy dinos to "tuck in their tails" and "turn out the light". Stinkerbell's sweet little hands would pat the covers and she'd make the soft, sweet sounds of her approval and love.

The pages of the book where the T-rex gives 'night 'night kisses are marked forever from the moist kisses my affectionate girl gave her dino friend.

And, without fail, her reaction to the last page's goodnight wish "Goodnight. Goodnight, little dinosaur," was full of her tender feelings. She would cry and place her head on my shoulder, hiding from the sadness she felt as the dino went to sleep, leaving her alone.

Until I turned the page to the outside cover, where the dinosaur counting would begin again.

The memory of my daughter's tender sympathy and big heart will stay with me forever. The memory of her tears over a book's characters going to sleep are preserved on dvd.



Read to a child today. Make precious memories of your own.



Visit Kane Miller publishers to find other quality children's books.

3 comments:

Heather said...

Here via CHBM!

You start to forget those things...write them down!!

My daughter loved Moo Baa La La La and my son has always loved Green Eggs and Ham.

They also love Debi Gliori's books.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

My daughter loves books. I do too..I hope she gets it from me.
Our favorite right now is Put me in The Zoo...She knows that one by heart.

The Crazy Hip Blog Mamas said...

You won! Send me your mailing address to crazyhipmama@gmail.com and I will forward it to Kane/Miller who wills end you the book!

Thanks!!