Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it’s a special time of year for me because my sweet mom is thriving and doing well at ninety-three! What better gift for moms everywhere than with books! Except for the first book, all of these are picture books and are good for the whole family.
One Drop at a Time: A Message for Women, by M. Russell Ballard, is a smallish sized book that exhibits the industrious and important honeybee. Even the cover displays a hive, bees and a honeycomb. Elder Ballard equates this tiny insect, and the morsel of honey it makes, to the sisters of the Church. Each bee works very hard and flies to many, many flowers to retrieve about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. The time spent to produce this slight morsel takes the bee up to four months. The comparison drawn is that a sister might think that her small contribution of help and support won’t help or matter much. But, as with the bees, the effort, no matter how small, can mean a great deal to someone. “There is power in our love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life-sustaining nectar of faith, hope and charity.” And I can testify that these simple acts of daily service will bring about purpose and happiness to those that give!
Hero Mom, by Melinda Hardin, and painted with watercolor by Bryan Langdo, begins with “Our moms are superheroes”. From there the depiction of moms that are serving in the military demonstrates the vastness and importance of those services such as military architects, search & rescue and doctors. The story is encouraging and informative and even showcases how kids can communicate, through devices such as Skype, with their moms who are far away while serving their country.
I Will Keep You Safe and Sound, by Lori Haskins Houran, and beautifully painted with watercolor, gouache and brown pencil by Petra Brown, reassures little ones that their parents are always there protecting them. The sparse, rhyming text gives a lilting sense that almost sings a lifting lullaby. “Brown bears in the den / While the first buds peep / Rabbits in the field / While crickets cheep / Robins in the nest / While the rain pours down / I will keep you safe and sound.” The sense of comfort and love is found, and profound, throughout.
Lullaby (For a Black Mother), a poem by Langston Hughes, and illustrated with acrylic, pencil and collage by Sean Qualls, is a beautiful poetic lullaby from one of last century’s best poets. The expressive words seemingly rock back and forth over the pages as the evening dark portrays a shifting moon, billowy clouds and stars that shine throughout the night. Be sure to check out a rare picture of this famous poet as a baby in the arms of his mother
The King of Space, by Jonny Duddle, is a hilarious futuristic story that showcases the most extraordinary life of an average six-year-old boy, Rex, who lives with his parents on a moog farm and goes to mini intergalactic citizen school. However, he has the most distinctive feeling that he is about to become the King of Space! He ends up achieving even more than he bargained for when he uses his giant robot to dig a deep hole to create a place to begin his master-plan: conquering the universe. But things get out of control when Emperor Bog and his Galactic Alliance prepare to begin to go up against Rex. And guess who saves the day? Mom! You’ll likely pour over the full-page illustrations, especially Rex’s unique-looking alien friends!
What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother’s Day, by Martha Simpson, and brightly illustrated by Jana Christy, is a clever story about all of the items not to give your mom unless she’s a particular type of animal. There’s a picture of mom in bed and a boy (who is featured throughout the book) who has a bucket of earth and worms placed on top of the bed sheet. “Do Not give her a bucket of big fat worms…unless she is a bird“. Another picture shows her standing just inside the kitchen and this little boy has just dumped mud on the floor. “Do Not give her a mud puddle…unless she is a pig”. This delightful story ends with a hug and kiss and mom proclaiming “I love you, too, honey!” Kids will enjoy reading and re-reading this again and again and perhaps come up with their own gifts not to give mom.