I love to read. I've always loved to read. For me, there was always something magical about words printed on a page. Reading was a like a secret I couldn't wait to figure out.
Every single day I try to figure out a way to instill my love of words into Jack and Mia. We read together a lot and as a result we have hundreds of picture books. Some of them are great...some are not. Most of them don't have a lot going on in the plot department. I love Goodnight Moon and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? as much as the next mom, but I know them by heart and occasionally they make me want to gouge my eyes out.
Lucky for me, a friend gave us a copy of Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman, a story about a 6-year-old boy who wishes his new baby sister Anna had never been born. The good news is that his wish comes true, the bad news is that the his days suddenly start moving in reverse.
When we all sat down to read it together for the first time I was surprised to catch myself rushing through the book so I could find out what happens next. Newsflash: This is a picture book with a plot! I honestly had no idea how Sussman was going to resolve Otto's predicament.
Jack and Mia enjoyed the book as much as I did. Mia insists on reading it every single night and she gives Otto and Anna a kiss before she goes to bed. Girl after my own heart.
Jack is a tougher sell in general when it comes to books. He's known to get fidgety and one time when we were reading Green Eggs and Ham he kept putting his feet in my face. I never thought I'd have to say the words, "Do not make me use this copy of Green Eggs and Ham to remove your left foot from my cheek because I assure you it won't be pleasant for you or your toes." They just don't teach you this stuff in those dumb birthing classes.
Anyways, Jack fell in love with Otto. I think he could relate to him wanting to get rid of his sister and he was fascinated by him getting younger and time going backwards. The morning after we read it for the first time I caught him trying to read it to himself. He was very engaged in this book and it has lead me to think more carefully about the books we read together. I think he's definitely ready for books with a little more substance.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with young children, particularly those of you expecting a new brother or sister or those of you with a pair of siblings who don't always get along well.
In fact, we liked this book so much that we'd love to share it with one of our lucky readers! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment in this post with the title of your favorite picture book. We'll leave the comments open for the week and will announce our winner on Monday December 28th. Good luck!