I’ve been a bit absent in blogdom this week. There’s a reason for that – a great reason, actually! My baby brother had a baby! Ok, so his wife was the one who actually delivered the baby but still…the point is, I have a brand new nephew! He gave his mommy a tough go of it there for a while, but my sister-in-law has some superpowers of her own and everyone made it through nice and safe and healthy. (Thanks, God!)
I had a lot of time to think in the hospital waiting room. (My nephew REALLY wasn’t as anxious to meet us as we were to meet him!) What does an aunt think about when she is waiting for her nephew to be born? I’m so glad you asked!
10 Books/Series I Can’t Wait to Read to My New Nephew
1. Any of Kevin Henkes’ mouse books. His characters are adorable, and his stories/illustrations are equally so. If you have never read his work, start with Chrysanthemum and then read Julius The Baby of the World. Just because those are my favorites! 😉
2. Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. This delightful book won the Caldecott Medal in 1996, and it’s clear why from the very first page. The illustrations are inseparable from the story, including a myriad of humorous safety tips and Gloria’s antics that the author does not include in the written text. Between my dog Zuzu and my nephew’s 2 dogs, I know he and I will enjoy laughing at this book together!
3. Clarissa Fell Into the Water! by E. Townsend Schmidt. I may be a little biased about this one as my supercute husband wrote it 🙂 but it’s true – I can’t wait to read it to my nephew. It’s dedicated to him, after all, and it contains one of my favorite read-aloud lines in all of children’s book-land. (And as a former elementary school teacher, I’ve read a lot of children’s books aloud!)
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. This book is just plain fun to read aloud. Many opportunities for expression and dramatics. I foresee lots of giggles together when my nephew gets old enough to understand anything I’m saying – and one of the reasons will hopefully be this book.
5. Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco. I adore Patricia Polacco’s books! Her stories are rich and warm and full of culture & heritage, and her illustrations are so unique. If you’ve never read her books before, start with this one and Chicken Sunday.
6. The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I cannot say enough about this book. It is a book that every ADULT should read, much less every child. This multiple award-winning Bible tells the Story behind all other stories and reminds us that even in the Bible every story whispers His name. It shows us how every book in the Bible points us to Jesus, the center of the Story, the missing piece in the puzzle of God’s plan. Above all things I could help teach my nephew, this is by far the most important.
7. the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. These were childhood favorites of mine that have carried over into adulthood favorites. As Lewis himself said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” Now, I’m nowhere near fifty yet but the point remains. The best books are enjoyed as children and again as adults. I’m sure his parents will have to read most of these to him as my relationship with him will be mostly long-distance *wail* but hopefully I’ll get to read him a bedtime chapter every now and then.
8. the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. These were adulthood favorites of mine. I love the world she created and how little things in the first book became major things by the last book. Again, like the Lewis books, I probably will only get to read him a chapter every once in a while, but it will be worth it 🙂
9. Ben and Me by Robert Lawson. The tagline for this book that i read in 5th grade says, “An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos.” I have several reasons for wanting to read this one with my nephew. One is that I simply love history. I do not, however, love mice. But in this case, I will make an exception because the book is such a cute idea.
10. Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. This is another picture-type book but I adore its premise – a bunch of kids who create a treasured land in their collective imagination. And once you’ve been there, it always is. I so badly hope that my nephew grows into a little boy with a vivid imagination – one who dreams up plots and schemes and playlands. One who makes Mt. Everest out of a dirt pile and the Amazon jungle out of a climbing tree or two. Maybe reading this book with him will spark a bit of this imagination and he will create his own little Roxaboxen with some of his friends in the future. And with any luck, maybe he’ll ask me to play there too. 🙂