Children's Books Like Vegetables

by Kristin.

I recently read Maxi's Secrets by Lynn Plourde. Now, some of you are thinking: but where are the pictures of your baby? And some of you are thinking: that came out less than a month ago, how did you do that?

More pictures of Job will come soon, but I have to talk about this book first. I review early copies of books through netgalley, and have been searching for amazing children's literature as I prepare to homeschool Job. There are a ton of books for kids out there, and most of them aren't worth talking about. So many children's books are innappropriate in subtle ways that affect and shape our kids. A popular series about a dog includes joking about faking his suicide to win the girl dog that he loves. Weird. But innocent enough until I notice the kid reading it makes a joke about suicide less than 24 hours later. Books about middle-schoolers? Most of the middle-schoolers being portrayed are whinier than toddlers in the middle of a tantrum or are secretly-adults-parading-as-twelve, like the stars of Disney channel that think we don't realize their real age is 25 instead of 9.

But this book portrays neither. It encourages kids to be less whiny without invalidating their feelings. It teaches the importance of laying down pride in order to apologize. It shows an example of how to deal with the emotional pain of loss in a healthy-yet-frustrated way. Simply put, Maxi's Secrets has the depth that so many other examples of children's literature lack. I have nothing against Anton and Cecil's fun, fast-paced cat adventures, but I know which I will be placing on Job's shelves when he gets older.

While good books, especially for children, may be far-between, there are many of them out there if you're willing to look. We as parents get so much advice about what to feed our children, but less advice about the books we feed them. On being released from the hospital, the only book advice I got for Job was to read him everything within arms reach. Could you imagine feeding your child everything within armsreach? If you can, I will strive to make my shelves as clean and healthy as your house. And by the way, are you interested in babysitting?

I kid, but this is really important to me. I'm not going to go off the deep end (read: I will still allow Job to have a library card), but I'm going to find the best books to fill Job up with so anything else pales in comparison. Just like I feed him the yummiest vegetables so the papertowels and dog hair he finds on our floor seem slightly less worthy of his taste buds. More reviews to come.