My heart nearly burst open when I read this note to my child. ”Our wish for you is that you always know how loved you are and that the message of this book be with you all of your life.” Love, Dave & Trish.
Not only was this the most wonderful gift, it also got me so excited about all the books to come. Baby, I have saved most of these on a shelf. They’re waiting for you. Here’s a few….
1. Bible Stories for Children- I had a Christian upbringing and the most wonderful church family growing up and I’d like the same thing for you. I think it’s important to have some faith basis for your life. However, I would never expect you to read the whole Bible. Granted, it is the world’s most popular book and we have several copies for your future reference. But, I have little faith in those who act overly pious and say they’ve read the whole thing. God knows it’s 2,000 pages.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle- Your Dad and I heard being able to count is a good thing. Apparently it pays off in the world of academia. We’ll make sure to get you this book before preschool. We’ll throw in one about the ABC’s too.
3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak- Who doesn’t love Max? It’s one of Daddy’s favorites.
4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein- I can’t wait for you to find out what makes the tree happy.
5. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein- Yep, he has two books on this list. I hope this book shows you the beauty of good poems. Maybe you’ll recite “Sick” for your 3rd grade talent show too. Your Mama brought down the house with the line “I think my hair is falling out!”
6. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg- We’ll read it at Christmas, or the Fourth of July, or Arbor Day. Any day you want a reminder of what it means to believe in Santa Claus.
7. All the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary- When you get old enough to read “chapter books” it doesn’t get any better. Your Grandma and I read all of them together curled up in my bed in my pink room. I got to be good enough I could read chapters to her. I’ll be so proud when you can read to me. We’ll be another generation laughing and crying at all things Quimby.
8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- Whenever I misplace a glove I think of Meg. I can’t look at a clothes pin without an image of Amy popping in my mind. I think of Jo whenever someone gets a drastic haircut. You’ll cry and that’s okay.
9. Anything by Jane Austen- ”A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.” That’s from Chapter 6 in Pride and Prejudice, my favorite book. I hope you will understand Ms. Austen’s wit and jab at her society in a quote like that. If I weren’t worried you’d have the same name as every other little girl in your Kindergarten class I’d name you Emma, for Miss Woodhouse herself.
10. Harry Potter 1-7- I’ll make you some pumpkin juice to sip on while you read. I can’t explain how much I hope you will love this world. I hope the characters will become your friends, your enemies, and your family in each novel. Dive in every adventure. Soak up every moral. Cry at death. Cry when it’s all over. It’s okay. Daddy did. (Yep Grey, I just told the Internet you cried at the end of Harry Potter 7. Sorry.)
Invitiation by Shel Silverstein
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.