The Best of my March book order goes to:

Waiting Out the Storm by Macken: I don’t know which I like better, the writing or the illustrations. They are both lovely. A little girl is frightened of the storm blowing in. Her mother’s descriptions of what’s happening reframe and reassure without minimizing the child’s feelings.

“It’s too loud! I’m afraid!” the little girl cries. “Oh, it’s only a sound. Thunder stomps. Thunder stumbles and bumbles around,” her mother replies.

The vocabulary rhymes soothingly, the colors emphasize the spring-ness of the rain, and both fit together to build a cozy, if wet, wonder of a world.

Runner-up goes to Pink Me Up by Harper. I’m not a “girl book” kind of gal. I wasn’t much of one when I was a child and then I raised two boys. So I can name on just my two hands probably, the “girl books” that I am comfortable with and enjoy recommending (Princess Grace, Ladybug Girl, Fancy Nancy, and the Prydain Chronicles top my list).

Pink Me Up sounds silly to me. Mama and daughter’s “pink day” arrives but Mama is sick. So Daddy fills in–but he’s not pink enough! What to do?! Well, make him pinker, of course!

For me, silly or not, the book works because it captures the emotions of a disappointed preschooler so well. The spread where she falls flat on the floor (literally, face down) with the exclamation, “Today is the worst day EVER!” rings so very true. Then she goes through problem solving mode of who can take Mama’s place–but she never dreams of Dad. Why? “I tell Daddy something very important: Daddy! You’re a boy!…Boys are NOT pink!” Again, spot on for a preschooler’s mind (they are trying to sort out what is a boy, what is a girl–and things like clothes and colors and mommy- and daddy-ness are very important markers for figuring this out).

But Dad pulls out his pink tie and the wheels start spinning.

I won’t give the ending away but all ends well. 😉 I like that with a little encouragement from both parents, she becomes the problem solver and that, while she definitely associates pink with girls, it has nothing to do with being pretty. It’s just pink!

Have fun!

Babette

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