Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

The Kissing Hand – A Picture Book Classic for Starting School

Posted on July 8th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

The Kissing Hand -  A Picture Book Classic for Children Starting SchoolThe Kissing Hand written by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak
Classic picture book published by Child & Family Press

Despite the fact that my youngest son was very familiar with the preschool that he would be attending, separation was a major problem for him. He had been to his older brother’s classroom countless times. He had met the teachers and knew the playground BUT, when it came time to stay by himself, he was devastated. He simply would not let me leave. He grabbed my arm, he wanted reassurance and most of all, he wanted me to stay nearby.

Since that time, I have taught many classes for preschool-age children and have dealt with many youngsters who don’t want mommies and daddies to leave. Their eyes well up and they send a clear message that they will be heartbroken if left. Almost without exception, my experience has been that when mommies and daddies show confidence in their child’s ability to cope and when they don’t hesitate, the child manages fine. Sometimes a few tears are shed but a skillful teacher will quickly have the child happily engaged in an activity.

For some children, I offer my small brass bell. We put it outside the classroom and their parent is instructed to ring it when they arrive just before pick up time. Usually we are enjoying a quiet circle time when the bell is rung and the child’s eyes light up when she realizes that mommy or daddy is waiting outside.

For other children, I have a small stuffed ladybug – it is just the right size for small hands. I encourage children who are feeling separation anxiety to “look after” the ladybug for me. Usually, within a few minutes, the child is happily playing and the ladybug has been left behind.

The Kissing Hand shares the story of Chester Raccoon and his reluctance to leave Mommy and go to school. He claims that he would rather stay at home, play with friends, read and swing. Mother Raccoon is ready with a simple but reassuring message:

“Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t want to do,” she told him gently. “Even if they seem strange and scary at first. But you will love school once you start.”

She shares a secret with her son.

Mrs. Raccoon took Chester’s left hand and spread open his tiny fingers into a fan. Leaning forward, she kissed Chester right in the middle of his palm.

Mrs. Raccoon is a wise mama. My best guess is that she is sad to see her youngster start school. She knows she will miss him and that he is taking a big step toward independence but she puts her own emotions aside and she equips Chester with the knowledge that his mother’s love will always be with him. She also shows confidence that he is ready to take this step away from home.

A great choice for children heading off to preschool or kindergarten. Do not be surprised if your child’s teacher shares this story during the first week of school.

The Kissing Hand at

The Kissing Hand at

Some related picture books that young readers will enjoy

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Outstanding Picture Books About Moms and Motherhood

Posted on May 10th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts Looks at Picture Books About Moms and Motherhood

So many ways to explore the special bond between a mother and child. Just like My Mum is playful, Mama, Do You Love Me? is informative, The Best Gifts is supportive, The Runaway Bunny is reassuring and Mom and Me is revealing…

Storytime Standouts looks at Picture Books About Moms including The Best Gifts

The Best Gifts written by Marsha Furchuk Skrypuch and illustrated by Elly MacKay
Picture book about family life including breastfeeding published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside

This circular story begins with a joyous celebration. Family and friends visit a couple and their newborn baby, bringing gifts and celebrating the baby’s arrival. Once the guests leave,

Sara’s mother opened her nightgown and drew her daughter near. Sara was wrapped in love and a light scent of sandalwood as the warmth of her mother’s milk swirled in her mouth and filled her tiny stomach. She fell into a happy sleep.

In the years that follow, there are many celebrations – Sara’s fifth birthday, her graduation and her wedding day. On each occasion, the reader is reminded that the best gifts are (like breastfeeding) those than cannot be bought and that quiet moments with family create very special bonds.

The Best Gifts is appropriate for children aged four years and up. Although it clearly shares a pro-breastfeeding message, Ms Mackay’s illustrations also show us fathers who are very involved with child-rearing and supportive of breastfeeding.

Afternotes include breastfeeding resources for families

The Best Gifts at

The Best Gifts at

Storytime Standouts features Picture Books About Moms including Just Like My Mum David Melling

Just Like My Mum written and illustrated by David Melling
Picture book about a lion cub and his mum published by Hodder Children’s Books

An engaging, fun picture book about the similarities between a lion cub and his mum. Young children will relate to the cub and his experiences from morning until nighttime. Adults will appreciate mum’s occasional impatience and her preference for dry games.

“When I’m bored my mum doesn’t like it. She says, ‘Why don’t you do something?’ But when I do something… she says, ‘Just sit still for five minutes!”

Delightful illustrations make this good fun for children aged three and up.

Just Like My Mum at

Just Like My Mum at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including Mama, Do You Love Me?

Mama, Do You Love Me? written by Barbara M. Joosse and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Picture book about a mother’s unconditional love published by Chronicle Books

In this best-selling, award-winning picture book, a young girl asks ‘Mama, do you love me?’ Her mother promptly replies, ‘yes‘ but the girl is not satisfied. She wants to know ‘how much?’, ‘how long?’ and ‘what if?’ Gorgeous, rich illustrations of Arctic animals and features of Inuit culture contribute to this exceptional story of a mother’s love.

A detailed glossary provides additional background information that will be of interest to older children

ABC Choices for Children
American Bookseller, “Pick of the Lists”
Children’s Book of the Month Club, Main Selection
Golden Kite Award, Society of Writers and Illustrators
Parents, “Best Books of the Year”

Mama, Do You Love Me? at

Mama, Do You Love Me? at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including Mom and Me

Mom and Me by Marla Stewart Konrad
Picture book about moms, part of World Vision Early Readers series published by Tundra Books

The World Vision Early Readers series features minimal text and striking photographs from Romania, Uganda, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam. Mom and Me depicts young children being cared for by their mothers including mealtimes, bathing, going to school, doing chores and homework and sharing affectionate quiet time.

The simple text is intended for beginning readers but I imagine this used to inspire discussions about diversity and universality in a (preschool or kindergarten) classroom setting.

Mom and Me at

Mom and Me at

Storytime Standouts looks at picture books about Moms including The Runaway Bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown

The Runaway Bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

A classic picture book for very young children, The Runaway Bunny is the story of a little bunny who decides that he wants to run away from home. We don’t know what it is that has upset him but clearly he is seeking reassurance from his parent. His loving and steadfast Mother assures him that no matter where he might run and hide, she will follow and find him.

“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”

If you run after me,” said the little bunny, “I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you.”

Featuring colorful painterly as well as pen and ink illustrations, this is a story that every young child should know.

The Runaway Bunny at

The Runaway Bunny at

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Storytime Standouts looks at Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms
Storytime Standouts Recommends Mother's Day Picture Books
Storytime Standouts Looks at I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids
Storytime Standouts Looks at Mama's Little Book of Tricks

Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms Celebrates a Special Bond

Posted on May 6th, 2014 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Never Let You Go by Patricia StormsNever Let You Go written and illustrated by Patricia Storms
Picture book celebrating love between an adult and a child published by Scholastic Canada

I’ll be honest, I completely underestimated Never Let You Go when I first viewed the cover art. I assumed (wrongly) that it would be a treacly story about a mother’s love for her child. When I took time to carefully read the story and appreciate the playful illustrations, I discovered that this is indeed a special picture book that will be treasured by children and their adult caregivers.

Readers may assume that Never Let You Go is about a mother’s love for her child but one could argue that it could also be interpreted as a portrayal of a father’s love or a grandparent’s love. The beauty of the author’s words is that the affection shared by the adult penguin and the young penguin makes no reference to gender or relationship. The story will ‘work’ for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It will work for single parent families or families where the primary caregiver is not a parent.

Spread from Never Let You Go by Patricia Storms

Initially the adult penguin reassures the youngster, I will care for you, and treasure you always. And I will never let you go. But soon we discover, there will be times when the adult will give the child space to safely explore the world and gain independence. The adult won’t be there when nature calls or if the child is quietly working on a project. With humor, we discover that the adult prefers to grant space when the child has a tantrum and that the adult will visit with other adults while the boisterous young friends play together nearby.

Recommended for children aged three years and up, bright, bold illustrations and breezy, affirming text make this a great read aloud for small groups.

Never Let You Go at

Kid Lit Blog Hop

I don’t know about you, but I”ll gladly accept one of these paycheques.

Posted on September 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Like so many moms, my job description is a long and complicated one. I am self-employed and work outside the home four days each week. I also volunteer and am currently the chairperson of our school Parent Advisory Council. My most important jobs are here at home. As a wife and mother, I garden, decorate, clean, launder, tutor, cook, transport, counsel, organize and cheer. Add ‘Elder Care’ to the mix and my days are full to the brim.

I was intrigued to hear about a recent study by They have created a Mom Salary Wizard. They surveyed more than 40,000 mothers and discovered “ that the time mothers spend performing 10 typical job functions would equate to an annual salary of $138,095 for a stay-at-home mom.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly accept one of those paycheques!

Here’s wishing you a happy Friday – how ’bout taking a “day off” from your endless “to do” list and choose something from your “want to do” list?

Parenting: What Exactly Am I Expecting – of Myself?

Posted on September 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern MotherhoodI Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood written by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Mobile
Parenting book published by Chronicle Books

Back after an all-too-short “Spring Break.” The boys returned to school this morning and I scrambled around doing some of the chores I’d put off while they were home. Well, actually, “home” is a bit of a stretch — six hockey games in four days meant we weren’t actually at home very much.

I did manage to read quite a number of (mainly kids’) books during the break (after arriving at the rink 60 minutes prior to each game). My favorite of the week was not a children’s book. I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kidsreinventing modern motherhood was such a compelling parenting title that I couldn’t wait to delve into it. I was not disappointed – it was thought-provoking, funny and reassuring.

The quizzes, commentary and quotes encouraged me to consider (and reconsider) my own ‘Never-Ending To-Do List” and My Expectations for Myself. I am still thinking about how I can match my expectations with the real world and, at the same time, honor my whole (not just parenting) self.

In the meantime, I have decided to form a GET A GRIP CLUB – especially for hockey moms — because really, we all need to GET A GRIP and enjoy each and every day. Beating ourselves up because we haven’t crossed every last thing off our “to-do” list or met an inflated list of parenting expectations, is far too destructive to ourselves and our family life.

I Was a Really Good Mom website (including blog)

I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids at

I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids at

Making Motherhood Fun… Mommy Really Can Be Amazing!

Posted on August 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an enjoyable motherhood resource: Mama's Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle Mama’s Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle
Motherhood book published by Chronicle Books

When my two boys were very young, I often told them that I was amazing! I always said it in a laughing way. I was not trying to be arrogant but rather thought that sooner or later they would both decide I was an idiot so perhaps if I referred to myself as ‘amazing‘ I could delay the almost inevitable ‘my mom is an idiot‘ phase for a month or two.

Actually, so far, my strategy has worked quite well. Now, I rarely have to remind my family that I’m amazing. Instead, when I find something that was assumed lost or if I manage to do something notable, it is not at all unusual to have one of the boys or my husband refer to me as, Mommy Amazing. Not bad, eh? My devious plan appears to be working.

Imagine my surprise last night when I discovered, Mama’s Little Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle. She’s put together, ‘fun games, cool feats, & nifty knowledge’ to ‘keep the kids entertained’ and make motherhood fun.

The publisher thinks it will work for kids ages 2-7 but I’m pretty sure there is more than one idea that will impress preteens.

At midnight last night, much to my husband’s chagrin, I was quoting the Nine Cool Bug Facts and contemplating the Four Impossible Kid Challenges. This book is great fun and might just lengthen my ‘Mommy Amazing’ status for awhile longer. Who could ask for more than that?

Lynn Brunelle’s Website: Tabletop Science

Mama’s Little Book of Tricks at

Mama’s Little Book of Tricks at

Celebrate Mother’s Day with Writing Prompts, Word Play, Picture Books

Posted on May 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts shares wordplay activities, writing prompts, printables and picture books for celebrating mom’s special day.

Mother's Day Picture Books recommended by Storytime Standouts


Here are some lovely picture books that celebrate mom. They would be perfect for a Mother’s Day storytime.

Bearcub and Mama is recommended for Mother's Day storytime by Storytime Standouts

Bearcub and Mama written by Sharon Jennings and illustrated by Melanie Watt
A picture book about the relationship between mother and child, published by Kids Can Press

Rich, warm, luminous illustrations enhance the story of a young cub and his mama. As the cub grows, he gains independence and gets separated from his loving, supportive and encouraging mother. Thankfully, he remembers the lessons she taught him and returns, through a snowstorm, to their cave. When he awakens in the morning, she is right there beside him. A lovely and reassuring story, best suited for preschool children.

Bearcub and Mama at

Bearcub and Mama at

Bright Red Kisses is recommended for Mother's Day storytime by Storytime Standouts

Bright Red Kisses written by Teresa Toten and illustrated by Deirdre Betteridge
A picture book about Mommy getting ready for an evening out, published by Annick Press

“The air is full of tickles” and Mommy is rushing to be ready for seven o’clock. Fortunately, she has enlisted the help of her young daughter. Lotions, creams, powders, sprays and polishes help to prepare Mommy for a special night out. Beautiful language, captures the excitement and anticipation perfectly; “In the back of Mommy’s closet the fancy dresses sleep. I wake them up and shake them up. I love to watch them leap.” A delightful story to share with young children, this might be a perfect antidote for those who plead, “Please don’t go.”

Bright Red Kisses at

Bright Red Kisses at


Quick Mother’s Day writing and language arts activities for kindergarten and early primary grades

Mother’s Day Wordplay

See how many words you can spell with the letters in “Mother” –

mother – he, hem, her, hot, me, moth, rot, the, them, Tom, to, tore

See how many synonyms you can discover for Mother

ma, mama, mom, mommy, mum

Make a list of words that rhyme
with mom

bomb, calm, come, handsome, some

with mother

another, brother, other, smother

Try one of these Mother’s Day writing prompts

We decided to cook a special breakfast for mom….
My mom never expected…
The best thing about my mom…
I remember when my mom tried…
When I was very small, my mom…

Free Mother’s Day Printables for Children – perfect for homeschool, kindergarten and classroom

As an extension activity, children will enjoy our free printable “Things You Can Learn From Mom” Wordsearch

image of PDF icon  Things You Can Learn From Mom


Free printables Mother's Day Writing Paper for Kids from Storytime Standouts

Interlined paper for Mother’s Day

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Mother's Day

Mother's Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing Paper for Kids - Happy Mothers Day

Mother's Day-theme interlined writing paper for penmanship practise and story writing.

We think you’ll like this related post and poem

Storytime Standouts Looks at Picture Books About Moms and Motherhood
The Reading Mother

More Picture Books to Celebrate Mother’s Day and Moms

Follow Storytime Standouts’ Mother’s Day Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’  Mother’s Day Pinterest Board.

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