I accidentally did something interesting at my last trip to the library. While browsing the children’s books, I selected one book each from Eric Carle and Margaret Wise Brown. Honey for a Child’s Heart advocates books by both of these authors for children under the age of one, and I wanted to expand my Bucca’s (and my own) awareness of these authors. The books I chose were The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle and My World by Margaret Wise Brown. Without immediately realizing it, I chose companions to books that are already on our shelves: Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Brown’s Goodnight Moon are the partner books.
Stella and I read each author’s books back-to-back. She was especially interested in Carle’s books as we compared the blue horses in each story. She was also very intrigued by the large and colorful illustrations of the other animals in The Artist. This was actually the first book she pointed towards as it was sitting on our coffee table. Needless to say…this is quite a special book for us now!
What companion stories have you found in literature for young children? I’d love to hear your favorites and suggestions!
Lindsay (and Bucca)
Some dear friends gave my husband and I a copy of Honey for a Child’s Heart for our co-ed baby shower when we were expecting our Bucca. This book by Gladys Hunt offers helpful advice on how parents can encourage reading and, more importantly, cultivate rich experiences for children through books. As someone interested in experiential children’s literature, this book was a welcome addition to our library.
The title of the book implies the basics that parents offer to their children: milk represents a child’s physical needs and honey represents the richness of life. While many parents are primarily concerned with providing the milk, the honey is just as important. Hunt states:
To give honey, one must love honey and have it to give. Good books are rich in honey, and hence the title of this book. (25)
While the first part of the book is interested in providing guidance to parents on how to create growth through books, the second part contains reading lists based on a child’s age. While I’m not one to segment books to children based on only their age (I believe that books – and toys for that matter – should be chosen based on the uniqueness and individual nature of the child), I am thankful for Hunt’s suggestions. The first book list is for children ages 0-3, and I hope to expose Bucca to all of the books in her first three years through frequent visits to the library. I thought I had curated quite a beginning book collection for Stella, but to my surprise, we only have three books recommended on Hunt’s 0-3 list:
- Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
I’m excited to take Bucca through this list and record her reactions and responses to the books recommended in Honey for a Child’s Heart. Hey…I’ll take any opportunity to read more books to her! More to come!
Lindsay (and Bucca)