#marchphotoaday #moon Oh, Goodnight Moon—you chewed up piece of simple beauty you. You, with your great green room, your telephone, your red balloon.
How for months and months you triggered the end of the most lovely bedtime routine; how we follow you and your young mouse from room to room.
You, with your bold reds, yellows and greens, your comfort items and your nostalgia: Your comb, your brush, your bowl of mush, that quiet old lady (read: bunny) whispering “hush.”
I nod my head, Margaret Wise Brown, for many more nights to come, for never growing too tired of—or too old for—Goodnight Moon.
Each night, the little miss and I sit down and read anywhere between two and five books, sometimes more. One of her fast favourites has become Emily’s House. Have you heard of it? It’s just about perfect.
Niko Scharer — Groundwood Books, 1990
It’s a rhythm book, a cumulative pattern book, a simple, humorous story that covers an advanced idea: everything is relative.
Poor little Emily, decked in overalls and braids, is unnerved to the point of tears by the noises in her house. Luckily, there is a little brown mouse (a noise source who is obviously motivated to keep his home), to help Emily problem solve.
How? He suggests Emily bring more noise into the house:
For the door went creak
And the mouse went squeak
And Emily cried with a great big tear
And she said, “There’s too much noise in here!”
Well, Emily sighed, “Oh what to do?”
But the mouse said, “Get us a pussycat too.”
Through her own resourcefulness and encouragement from our furry friend, Emily fills her house with all kinds of animals—from goats to turtle doves. Predictably so, the ever-mounting volume is just too much for the little girl to bear. So, to her relief, the clever rodent sends all of the noisemakers away:
And Emily listened, and Emily smiled!
And she sighed the sigh of a happy child
‘Cause all she heard in her little brick house
Was a small sort of creak and the squeak of a mouse.
Everleigh is enthralled with this book. She hangs onto every word, nods in appreciation, and bellows “There’s too much noise in here!” at the story’s climax.
And there’s a lesson to be learned: sometimes a change in perspective is all that’s needed to see the good in an otherwise bad situation.
I was a spunky kid to say the very, very least, so of course — of course — I adored the Ramona books. The illustrations were endearing, the story lines, oh, so clever, but mostly Beverly Cleary gave me a character I could relate with.
As Everleigh gets older, and her outgoing, inquisitive personality blossoms, she reminds me ever-so-much of Cleary’s timeless little girl.
Everleigh: “It’s a car. It’s a boat. It’s…”
As a mother, I suspect I have a cornucopia of surprises ahead of me. This week was full of them—all good. All mind-blowing. I mean, I know I’m the mama and bias is part of the package, but when it rains around here, it’s apparently torrential.
Yesterday, while I was dressing E, she seemed unusually preoccupied with finding a rather old, chewed up copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. We haven’t read it in ages, but she eagerly rummaged through her bookshelf until she spotted it. Once she had it in hand, she sat down on the floor and read the entire book to me—front to back. Technically, it’s memorization from nightly repetition when she was in her Brown Bear phase. But nonetheless, she read an entire book to me!
My little songbird sings all the time. And although her repertoire of simple songs and nursery rhymes isn’t quite a full bar room set, it has grown. But this weekend, E sang the alphabet song from beginning to end. Every single letter. We’ve been singing it to her for awhile, and she has a little magnet toy on the fridge that plays the song, but you’d think I’d have heard at least part of it before the entire thing—she’s even got “elemeno” down.
And, she can count to 15. Yup.
Addendum: A little bit of over the top bragging is part of the mama package, too.