The kids are cleaning out their rooms. We do this at least once a year, usually more often. They accumulate stuff they are too big for and need help choosing. This evening I went through their book shelves. I don’t allow too much twaddle up there–if a book doesn’t have great illustrations and good writing it lives a short life in our house. Sure Dragon Tails and Bob the Builder make their way from the thrift shop but they make their way back pretty quick.
This year was a bit of a shocker for me. The girls have begun in earnest to enjoy “real” chapter books. Sure they still enjoy some of my old picture books but most of those got moved to my son’s bookshelf. They were replaced with classic chapter books and favorite fairy tales, the books that get read and reread, and the picture books with incredible illustrations to be used for inspiration.
In my son’s room the baby board books were nestled away into the closet for a future grandchild (not mine, I am hoping my brothers will have children to read them.) It was hard to pack the Stephen Cartwright books away though the Sandra Boyntons stayed to hang out with Patricia Polacco and Dr. Suess, alongside Oxenbury and Rosemary Wells in the hopes of enticing our little man to read and be read to. Other favorite picture books, the ones my son once could not sit still for now reside on the shelves beside Thomas the Tank Engine, waiting for him to find them and ask for them to be read. No Bath Tonight, Say Hello Vanessa, That Fat Hat, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Could Be Worse await him and knowing how they have pleased my brothers and I as well as my daughters I know that soon he too will search them out to read them over and over.
Still it is sad to see Where’s My Teddy? go, and all the Usborne baby books are there no longer. I wonder if he will notice that Tickle Tickle is gone. I wonder if he will miss them. He needed the room for his big kid books and I am sure he will find many new imaginings and inspiration among these pages which have been read by two generations already.
Update: No I am not one of those moms who get all sentimental about baby clothes, its just the books, I am deeply attached to certain books. 🙂 Having written my sentimental stuff I tucked him in bed and he happily settled down with “Snow Day” which had been tucked away on his sister’s shelves. In fact he was having a hard time deciding which “new” book to peruse tonight. 🙂