I was in the children’s section of our public library and noticed a small girl, not a yardstick tall, climb a stool to reach into the bins of picture books in the center of the room. She picked out a book, climbed back down, and took it over to a lady, who was frowning and flipping rapidly through books in a different bin.
“This one looks good, Mom,” I heard the girl say.
Her mom took a quick glance. “You’ve already read that one,” she said. She took the book from the girl and summarily dropped it in a bin.
I relate to the little girl and to her mom. We adult readers crave a fresh story to read with our children, and our children love hearing stories over and over, and not just their favorites. They like hearing the familiar, and they have a knack for sensing meaning even in the most mundane.
I was a lucky parent, who found a few illustrated books that I loved reading over and over with my children as much as they loved them. The pages of our copies have been turned so many times, they’ve become butter soft–like your favorite pair of jeans that fit just right (as Zac Brown sings). These books tell stories that tingle your solar plexus, that remind you, you are connected, that touch a deep truth you may have forgotten.
Three of these are (and you can still buy them new):
Miss Rumphius (Your only obligation in life is to leave the world a better place; otherwise, be free to choose how you live.)
Grandfather Twilight (Have reverence for the mysteries.)
We Eat Dinner in the Bathtub (Be curious about others and celebrate our differences.)
Of course, the books just tell stories; they don’t preach.
Our books at Brandy Pie Book Company aim to be in this same category. One reader said about our debut book The Shared Dog: “this book will show your children how a little persistence can change the course of your life forever!” Time and our readers will tell us whether our books will become like your favorite pair of jeans, as we hope.