Pretend (a mom’s review)

Pretend
PRETEND
by Jennifer Plecas

Our March installment from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library came in the mail today! (I lost the February book, and I’ll come back to post about it later). It was a lovely surprise after our 2-hour walk in our 70º winter weather. I sat my boys down and read it to them as soon as I got it from the mailbox.

Wait! What?
Why did I read it to my kids before I read through it myself (as I have clearly stated is my process for these books)? Well, I saw the artwork, looked at the first page, and that was all I needed. I was convinced it was okay for them to hear.

The artwork is simple, yet compelling and quite cute.
The story is about a young boy, getting his dad to “pretend” with him that they are on an adventure. It shows the boy and his dad using ordinary props as imaginary tools; couches as boats, dog leashes as fishing lines, cookies as caught fish, etc. It is a lovey little story. My baby (who just received his first little sunburn =/) just looked at the pictures as I read, but my 2-year-old reiterated the lines he found most compelling; “Paddle Fast!” “Grab my hand!”

I wholeheartedly recommend it and am glad to have such a lovely addition to my son’s book collection from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Was this your March installment? If not, what was? If so, did you enjoy this book as much as I? Let me know!

Meet Me at the Moon (a mom’s review)

meet me at the moon

Our January installment from the Imagination Library book club is Meet Me at the MOON by Gianna Marino.

The artwork in this book is beautiful. I love it. I love it so much more than the actual story that I almost want to write a new story to go along with the artwork.

This book is, as the cover displays, about a mother elephant (Mama) and her baby (Little One) who are having to be separated for an amount of time. Their home is dry and dusty, so Mama tells Little One that she has to travel to the highest mountain to ask the sky for rain. Little One isn’t sure about this because it (no pronouns in this book) 1) doesn’t want to be left alone, and 2) isn’t sure that they will be able to find each other again. The book has a relatively uplifting story and ends happily.

The first time I read it, it caused a brief pause. It seemed a bit Naturalistic, talking about getting as close to the sky as possible to ask for rain. Not at all a Christian way of looking at things. But after a little bit of thought, I came to the following conclusion:
In all reality animals do look to the sky for rain and don’t have religious beliefs. Though, if they are able to ask the sky for rain, the best explanation is something difficult to find.

It’s a nice book. Yes, even a “sweet” book. (No, I don’t really think a book is a book, it’s just a sweet book.) Even though Mama is gone long enough for it to rain and for all the grass to grow back (months?).

Something that causes pause generally comes to this: Should I throw it out, or should I use it to start a conversation with my child, and then let him decide whether to keep it or throw it out. It can definitely begin a conversation. The elephant thinks she needs to talk to the sky to get it to rain. Isn’t that silly? Elephants talking? The sky deciding it’s going to rain, all by itself? Maybe Mama should have called Daddy so he could watch Little One when she left. Does the moon really touch the earth?? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! (The King & I fans, anyone?)

We’re going to keep it – for now, anyway. My kiddo likes elephants. I still may decide to rewrite the story though…

Have you received this book? What are your thoughts on it?