Thursday, June 2, 2011
My regular readers know birthdays are a BIG deal in my family; not in the ponies in the front yard, contracted entertainers, and fireworks kind of way, but it’s really important that the birthday –boy or –girl feel celebrated. That means making choices for the meal, as many family members as we can round up, and enjoying (or enduring) a birthday song over 2 minutes long! I’ve been prepping this week for a pirate party – namely a Jake and the Never Land Pirates party. B is completely enamored with the new show on Disney Junior, and since it’s so new (and I’ve never been one to spend a bunch of money on licensed character paraphernalia anyway) I’m creating a lot from scratch. We’re still on the hunt for a pirate book to enjoy as a Jake alternative – suggestions?
Our Tradition Gift
Each year, along with toys and games and clothes, I select a book for each of my boys that expresses how loved and special they are. This year, my choice for B is Wherever You Are, My Love will Find You, by Nancy Tillman. Tillman was nominated for a Children’s Choice Book Award for her illustrations in this book, which is how we were first introduced to it. The illustrations are indeed captivating, but the text is also worthy of recognition. It catalogs the places and situations that love finds its recipient without feeling list-like. The rhythm and rhyme is almost reminiscent of Dr. Seuss a la Oh, The Places You’ll Go:
“You can dance ‘till you’re dizzy, Paint ‘till you’re blue. There’s no place, not one, that my love can’t find you.”
If a little mush leaves a bad taste in your mouth, this one probably isn’t for you, but if you’re a sentimental like me, you’ll enjoy just the right amount of creative language, thoughtfully evoked memories, and beautiful illustrations, without feeling sappy. I’m quite tempted to use the text as a jumping off point for a scrapbook for each of the boys. I see childhood pictures spanning many years illustrating phrases like:
Whether I’ll get to work on this project or it will become another of my “best laid plans,” remains to be seen, but this birthday book will be enjoyed for years to come.
“Make a big splash. Go out on a limb. My love will find you. My love can swim!”
Appropriate for: everyone!