Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
I love when my roommate's nieces and nephews come to visit because they love books just as much as I do. The first thing they wanted to do when I got home from work was have me read Knuffle Bunny (1, 2 and 3) to them. It doesn't matter that the oldest is 12 and the youngest is three, they all want to laugh and shout out lines and beg for me to read "just one more" ever time we see them. And though their 21-month-old cousin is a little young for the interactive reading, she carried around my stuffed bunny all weekend.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The boys (12 and 10) thought I'd be able to convince their dad to let them see The Hunger Games movie, but alas, I took their dad's side mostly because it's a parent's job to set boundaries and rules for their children but also because violence enacted on the big screen is much different then violence theorized in print. But I'm not heartless. I took the boys in my car for the two-hour drive to Gettysburg and listened to the soundtrack and answered all their questions about the movie. Even I got my fill of The Hunger Games by the time we got to Pennsylvania.
Three Score and Twelve Hours Ago
The Big Book of the Civil War by Joanne Mattern
I swear I learned about U.S. history in school and I live in the middle of the most history-saturated area in America, but I needed a reminder of the significance of Gettysburg. So I pulled out my favorite kids' reference on the Civil War, and we read about the battle, the cemetery and President Lincoln's speech, which helped give us context for our walk through history. More than 50,000 Americans died in that three-day battle, and the fields still resonate with these words:
"From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
16th president of the United States
He Is Risen
The Children's Illustrated Bible by Selina Hastings
It wasn't until rereading Lincoln's words after our visit I realized how befitting they are for the Easter season. I once heard that for a Christian to truly understand the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we must each walk through our own Gethsemane. In more secular terms, we need to remember the suffering and sacrifice of others to be able to give hope to future generations.
Saying Goodbye to the Chaos
A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
I might be happy to have my bathroom to myself and not be woken up far earlier than usual by the pitter-patter of little feet, but I'll really miss having everyone around. I'll miss being able to snuggle up with the girls and some books before bedtime and talking about upcoming fantasy novels with the boys. I'll miss playing games with the adults and forgetting I'm lactose intolerant for long enough to eat ice cream on the porch. I'll miss seeing the city through new eyes and going on adventures surrounded by some of my favorite people. But I especially look forward to doing it all again when we see each other in the fall.