I’ve always thought there is something magical about children’s books. When I found out I was pregnant one of the first things I looked forward to was reading to my new baby. I couldn’t wait to dig out my childhood favourites and discover some new ones.
I have developed a bit of an addiction when it comes to buying books for Marley. He has so many – some he won’t enjoy until he can read himself and a lot that he likes ripping to pieces now. It means a lot to me that he enjoys reading and that as he grows he chooses to read instead of wanting to watch tele or play on a tablet. So I’m trying to get him interested while he’s little and impressionable.
Of course there are the obvious favourites that should be on every bookshelf; Roald Dahl books, The Gruffalo, Beatrix Potter’s collection etc. They really capture what it is to be a child and inspire their imaginations – they are great for children.
But recently I have found a new favourite. It isn’t a typical children’s book. There aren’t any extravagant bright pictures. It’s not a tale of magical creatures or a faraway land. It is simple and heartfelt and yes, it made me cry – very unusual for a book aimed at a child.
The one I am talking about is called On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. I read the first page and knew it was going to be a tear-jerker (it doesn’t take much).
On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there never had been anyone like you… ever in the world.
It’s more than just a children’s story book. It tells a child how individual and special they are, how the world was made a better place on the night they were born. I won’t say much more because I won’t do it justice but it truly is beautiful. It captures how I felt in those first few weeks perfectly. Every parent needs to read this book to their baby.
This will be one that I always come back to as Marley grows up, to remind him just how special he is.
What’s your favourite children’s book and why?