BoyChild turned three last week, and we are officially into “big boy” mode now. In addition to being sick, then having a week of birthday celebrations (okay, just two, but they stretched all week!), BoyChild also had his second set of tympanostomy tubes inserted and his adenoids removed this week, so we’re a little short on titles this month…oops! (I tried searching “growth–fiction” and “juvenile” in my local library’s catalog, but there are enough plant books mixed in there that finding enough on-topic books while BoyChild’s attention span lasted in the play corner was a little rough!) In honor of his big day, though, I’m posting a few books about getting bigger that are geared toward the very young. If you know of any other good titles, let us know in the comments!
Now I’m Big!, by Karen Katz (2013): In this book, a little girl talks about different hallmarks of babyhood–wearing diapers, crawling, riding in a stroller–and then proclaims, “Now I’m big!” and explains what she can do now that she’s big. Although BoyChild can’t yet do many of the “big” milestones (using the toilet regularly and self-bathing most definitely among them!), he LOVES this book and gladly chimes in his, “Now I big!” on each page and memorized some of the other phrases as well. In the end, the little girl proclaims that now she’s a big sister and can help her little sister do all her baby things…because she’s big. Even though this is told as though it’s by one child, there are both boys and girls and an assortment of different ethnicities represented as the comparison between baby and big kid on different pages. (Note: The last page shows the little girl jumping on the bed with her baby sister…and BoyChild (because of my comments the first few times we read this) always says, “Dat not safe!” You might want to make sure your “big kid” knows it’s not safe to jump on the bed with a baby, too. 🙂 )
The Growing Story, by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (2007): Originally written in 1947 (with illustrations copyrighted in 2007 for this most recent edition), the story of a little boy wondering if he’s really growing is pretty much timeless! In his life on the farm, he sees the crops, the livestock, and the pets growing, but he doesn’t feel like he is. He repeatedly asks his mother if she’s sure he’s growing, and she always patiently answers that, yes, of course he’s growing. He remains doubtful until winter comes again and the warm pants and coat they packed away the previous spring are now too tight and too short; then he joyously cavorts about among the animals that have been growing and informs them happily, “I’m growing too.”
Another Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Chris Raschka (1999): Starting at age one, using rhyming, repetitive text, Brown gives a glimpse into what’s important about life up through age six. (BoyChild is currently in the individuality/self-centered stage: “The important thing about being Three is being ME.” Go figure.) Raschka’s unusual style give the illustrations a kind of retro look, and once again, a variety of differently hued children are represented fairly. In the end, Brown reminds little readers that the most important thing about each age is just “that you are YOU.”