Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Baskets

I don't really "get" the concept of toys and presents in an Easter basket. Growing up, the Easter bunny brought eggs with lots of candy, but he never brought presents (maybe my childhood was deprived, I don't know).

However, according to Pinterest and mommy blogs and fashion blogs and the internet at large, Easter is now another holiday all about presents. Apparently the Easter bunny is supposed to bring beautiful big baskets full of fun spring-time toys all wrapped up in cellophane with big ribbons on top.

Nothing like a little internet mom-guilt to force one to conform, so this year I decided our kids were getting presents in their Easter baskets. But because I have some sort of knee-jerk reaction against giving toys at any other time than Christmas and birthdays (which is a real downer most of the year for my oldest who was born on Dec. 23rd), of course the Easter bunny only gave them books (and candy, obviously).

I know, everything about these baskets is super cute and photo-worthy. I expect this grainy iphone pic will trend all over Pinterest.

Anyway, I bring up these baskets not to comment on the excesses of modern parenting or my own minimalist philosophies, but because I want to talk about these two books.

Actually, I probably don't need to talk about Pat the Bunny. If you are a parent, and you haven't heard of this book, what rock to do you live under? Do you even buy books for your children? Pat the Bunny is a huge favorite at our house, so much so that Child #1 loved his copy pretty much to death. If I have one complaint about this book, it's that it doesn't hold up as sturdily as most board books. This is probably by design, so that you are forced to buy a new copy for each subsequent child. Anyway, Baby #2 needed his own new copy and what better time than Easter to get a book that is not really at all about bunnies?

But for our 3 year old, I did something that I usually don't ever do: I bought a book sight unseen. Yep, I'd never actually read The Book With No Pictures before I ordered it, so this was a bit of a risk. But I'd read enough glowing reviews to have a pretty good idea what this book was all about, and since our kid has recently been really into making up nonsense words and gibberish (and making us say them too), I figured this book would likely be a hit.

And we were not disappointed. My husband got to do the first reading, and there were lots of giggles and delighted squeals. I'm pretty sure this one will be a regular in the bed-time rotation now. And I must say I think it's a super cute clever little book too. Props to B.J. Novak for coming up with such a simple, fun idea for a children's book.

If you are unfamiliar with this book, here's the premise: Like the title says, this book has no pictures, which of course sounds completely odd for a great children's book, but, as the words explain, the adult reading this book is required to read all the words on the page, even if those words are silly or gibberish, and there's plenty of silly nonsense to go around. It's a fun little book, one I think most kids would enjoy.

Although I'm glad we had an excuse to pick up this new family favorite, I did wonder if maybe I should have gotten a holiday-specific book since we don't actually have any Easter books. But then I realized that I don't know of a single good children's Easter story. So I'm asking you, any recommendations out there? What are the best Easter/spring children's books? What should our Easter bunny bring next year?

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