I’m feeling…

I'm feeling super-exhausted and somewhat discouraged today. Mostly first month with a newborn stuff, I think, though we're also having something of a tough time figuring out our fall semester plans. To cheer myself up, I went through all the lovely books that friends have gotten us for the baby, discovering many I didn't know of before. And then I went to Amazon and ordered several old favorites that we didn't yet own. And that was comforting. I got:

  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Corduroy
  • Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
  • Eloise
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon
  • Madeleine
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Where the Wild Things Are
All of these are too old for her by oh, a lot. :-) But it's sort of an act of faith; a pledge that we'll get through these difficult first weeks, and eventually Kavya will be old enough for these. I want to read them to her. Besides, they say it's never too early to read to your kid, and that repetition is good for those developing neural pathways. So I'll just read her the same favorites over and over, and eventually, she'll actually understand them. :-)

Any recommendations for great kids' books we shouldn't miss? (Board book and picture book level only, please.)

18 thoughts on “I’m feeling…”

  1. I worked in the children’s department of my public library for nearly five years and two of my favorites are ISH by Peter Reynolds (recommended for K to 3, but I’ve bought copies for adults, too!) and DIARY OF A WOMBAT by Jackie French (baby to preschool). If you don’t love that little wombat, I will buy your copy from you! 🙂

    My brain is rather frazzled at the moment, but I’ll pass along other recommendations as I think of them. Oh, I also love DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS by Mo Willems. There are several PIGEON books, but the first one is still my favorite and guaranteed to make you smile.

    Hang in there.

  2. I’ve probably said this before, but I don’t remember whether you have it or not: my very favorite board book is But Not the Hippopotamus, by Sandra Boynton, and I believe I still have several extra copies (I buy them to give to friends with kids) so if you don’t have a copy, I can probably provide one.

    I’m sorry to hear about exhaustment and discouragiation. 🙁 Glad books are providing comfort. Yay books!

  3. Sorry to hear you are down; it does get easier and you will get sleep. Congrats on making it two weeks as that is no small accomplishment.

    We know board books! Here are a few of the best that we would not want to be without:

    I love you Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt,Cyd Moore (good, what-if games and unconditional love)

    10 Minutes till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann (the hamster bedtime tour–few words, lovely pictures tell the story)

    Goodnight Gorilla also by Peggy Rathmann (the zookeeper says goodnight to the zoo, “aided” by a cheeky monkey)

    Am assuming you have the classics that no baby reader/chewer should be without: The Big Red Barn (Margaret Wise Brown; we found this made a lovely bedtime book!), Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown), Runaway Bunny (Margaret Wise Brown; we tend to refer to this–between parents–as the “psychotic mother bunny book” since she hunts down her beloved baby no matter what she turns into but our daughter loved it and I suspect so will our son), and Guess How Much I Love You (Sam McBratney, also an adored but psychotic bunny book–one-upsmanship).

  4. Tanima Mukherjee

    Personally I think anything written by Robert Munsch is great, but everyone must own “Love you Forever”.

  5. Both my kids loved “Pat the Bunny”. The book centers on tactile stuff (pages have patches of soft fabric, or fur, or other interesting stuff) so they are especially well suited to very young kids.

    I have no idea why the bunny is called Pat.

  6. WHAT?!?!? No South Asian children’s books? Tsk, tsk, Mary Anne.


    My recommendations:

    The Closet Ghosts
    Uma Krishnaswami, Illustrated by Shiraaz Bhabha
    Moving to a new place is hard enough without finding a bunch of mean, nasty ghosts in the closet. When Hanuman answers Anu’s plea for help, she rejoices  until she realizes those pesky ghosts don’t seem to be going anywhere.

    Uma Krishnaswami, Illustrated by Jamel Akib
    A child describes waiting for the monsoon rains to arrive and the worry that they will not come.

    The Road to Mumbai
    Ruth Jeyaveeran
    Shoba and her pet monkey, Fuzzy Patel, set out overnight by flying bed to attend Fuzzy’s cousin’s wonderful wedding in Mumbai, India.

    Silly Chicken
    Rukhsana Khan
    In Pakistan, Rani believes that her mother loves their pet chicken Bibi more than she cares for her, until the day that a fluffy chick appears and steals Rani’s own affections.

    Tiger on a Tree
    Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Pulak Biswas
    After trapping a tiger in a tree, a group of men must decide what to do with it.

    And of course…

    Mama’s Saris
    Pooja Makhijani, Illustrated by Elena Gomez. More at my site!


  7. Ditto all the Margaret Wise Brown (esp. Goodnight Moon, which reliably puts ME to sleep when I read it to them) and the Sandra Boynton — pretty much all Sandra Boynton’s board books are excellent. Moo Baa La La La is a fave, as is Doggies… and Hippos Go Beserk! Perhaps the best of all.

    For when she’s a little older, Doreen Cronin’s Click Clack Moo is very good.

  8. Hey, I haven’t had a chance to congratulate you yet, but catching up on my e-mail I found your web journal … so congrats! Kavya looks adorable and healthy.

    A recommendation I’d make is Bark, George; I can’t remember the author’s name offhand, but it’s a great book. Also great is Peek-a-Zoo. And I completely agree with everyone about Sandra Boynton, she’s the queen of board books as far as I’m concerned.

    Congrats again!

  9. When she gets older and can turn her own pages, I recommend books with very few words! Leo Leonni (or some weird spelling that I suck at) has a beautiful baby book called “Let’s Play” that can move at toddler speed.

    I love basically everything Sandra Boynton does, but I’m especially partial to The Bellybutton Book. It’s the only book we brought to China and “beebo” [bellybutton] was the first word Violet understood. Super-cute watching her slap her belly.

  10. I am loving all of these suggestions even though I am childless. I have two friends who recently had kids and as I am a book fiend I want to keep them stocked. These will all go on my shopping list. I particularly like the S. Asian ones. Multiculturalism should be taught early and should be fun! That will be my mission as honorary Aunt. Thanks for the ideas.

  11. Just catching up, too, so many congratulations! She is beautiful!

    I definitely recommend Sally and the Limpet (I don’t remember the author). It’s really cute and has a good moral, too. And my 5 year niece can recite it verbatim. lol

  12. Oh, I thought of another one–Helen Oxenbury. We were given a bunch of her four-page board books and V. loves them. Sturdy, fast-paced, kids of many different colors. Example: “Singing all together / running round and round / bouncy, bouncy on the bed / all fall down!” That’s the whole book.

  13. Avik loved books from REALLY early! Now he loves to turn the pages and sometimes will pick the book he wants to read from a pile. We also have a board book version of ‘very hungry caterpillar’ and he LOVES poking his little fingers through the holes where the worm ‘ate’ through the food. Anywho, basically, I totally agree it’s never too early to read to them (we read to him in the womb and he would respond to nehal’s voice!)

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