Today I’ll share about a “growing up” book that I really enjoy.
Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein shows a little gorilla and all the family and jungle animals that love him. Then, he begins to grow, and soon he is big. It ends with the simple sentence, “And everyone still loved him.” I began inserting my son’s name in it as we read: “Little Gorilla ____.” Since he had recently seen a monkey and baby in a different book or on TV (?not sure where), he was already in a “monkey” stage. Little Gorilla was, therefore, the perfect book for him at this time. He says he’s a baby monkey, I say he’s “Little Gorilla,” and when I read the book with him growing in to a “big gorilla,” I can just see the gears working in his mind. “It’s okay if I get big. Everyone will still love me when I’m big too! I don’t have to stay a baby. And Mommy will still cuddle me.”
I love my little boy and I’m glad for the baby moments, the cuddles, and the adorable things he says as he grows up. Growing up is kind of scary, though, and I love that we can read such a simple book that shows that growing up is pretty normal, and nothing important really changes.
I have so many more books that we’ve read recently. We also have sought out pertinent nonfiction. None of these have been spectacularly written or amazingly engaging, but my son still related to each book and requested it more than once.
After a dental visit, for example, we read Brushing My Teeth by Elizabeth Vogel. Now he must stop and smile at his teeth in the mirror after brushing, just as the girl did in the book. When he got his haircut, it was Getting a Haircut by Melinda Radabaugh, and after the mail carrier personally showed him the back of the mail truck (he loves the mail truck), we read A Day with a Mail Carrier by Jan Kottke. (See my 1000 Books post for the list to date.)
I should also add that my son and I have been walking to a nearby bridge and playing “Poohsticks” on sunny afternoons. He likes it very much, and it’s making me really want to reread him the Winnie-the-Pooh books this summer.
What “growing up books” do you think are perfect for a toddler?