As a mom, nothing makes my heart skip like feeling my boys snuggle up close or unexpectedly slip one of their hands in mind.
In celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday, I thought I'd share two new books that remind me of all those quiet little moments that make my heart swell.
Waiting Out the Storm
By Joann Early Macken,
illustrated by Susan Gaber
Candlewick Press, 2010
$15.99, ages 4-8, 32 pages
A mother tells her anxious little girl not to fear the rumblings of a storm in this breathtaking poem about having someone near to get through scary times.
As the first gusts of the storm stream through her hair, the rosy cheeked girl timidly calls out from behind a tree to her mother, who is kneeling in a field clipping daffodils for her basket.
The girl asks her mother why the sky is carrying on so, and her mother explains that the wind is calling out to the raindrops to play and the thunder is stumbling around, but not to fear, for it is only a sound.
But what will the turtles do, the ducks, chipmunks and chickadees, when the rain pours down and the lightning flashes? Not to worry, the mother comforts her, they too have someone near.
Macken's lyrical words transform a dark day into something playful, while Gaber's illustrations envelop you with warmth.
At times you almost feel raindrops skipping off the page, and when the girl holds tight to her mother's shirt, you feel the depth of their connection.
I Love My Mom
Written and illustrated by Anna Walker
Simon & Schuster, 2010
$9.99, ages 2-6, 32 pages
An adorable little zebra named Ollie shares all of the reasons he loves his mother in this soft-spoken story about a child's unwavering affection for his mom.
While Ollie and his mom shake out wrinkles from a freshly laundered blanket, he explains how special he feels when his mother makes the day about them and they wander happily with nowhere in particular to go.
They look, talk, giggle and walk, and along the way see new things, like a giant fluffy duck pruned from a bush and a dragonfly flitting by with delicate wings.
Next, on a arched bridge Ollie hunkers down to see a marvelous site, a line of orange fish swim downstream, as his mom watches only him, content in his happiness.
Next they walk through a cloud of butterflies, then play hide-and-seek among the flowers, before heading home for cups of cocoa, a playful bath and the best thing of all, a goodnight kiss.
Walker's watercolors are so tender, they win you over before you begin the story. Spare, delicate images echo back the love between mother and son, and make you warm and toasty too.