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Reassuring Bedtime Reading--On Mother's Lap

by Ann Herbert Scott

Our toddlers are always testing us. What theyíre looking for are comfort and reassurance. How can we let them know that weíll always be there for them?

Several wonderful books deliver that message in ways that will bring comfort and joy to toddlers. Two of them are bunny tales, of which the best known is The Runaway Bunny, the story of an incorrigible little rabbit. No matter where he runs, his mother tells him, she will find him.

Guess How Much I Love You? is a whimsically illustrated contest of feelings. The gentle Little Nut Brown Hare tells Big Nut Brown Hare how much he loves him by trying to measure his love in distances. Each time, however, Big Nut Brown Hare frustrates the little bunny by coming up with longer and longer distances. After this tiring game, Little Nut Brown Hare falls asleep knowing how much he is loved.

Two other classic comfort books feature Inuit characters. On Motherís Lap is an enchanting tale of a little boyís test to see if there will always be room for him. He comes to realize that, somehow, motherís lap has room for all his toys, for his new baby sister, and for him as well. Mama, Do You Love Me? is the beautifully illustrated story of a little girl who tests the limits of her motherís love by imagining outrageous scenarios, like turning into a walrus or putting a fish in her motherís parka. This book can help children understand that while parents may get angry, sad, or scared by childrenís actions, Mommy and Daddy will love them always.

More, More, More, Said the Baby features wonderful illustrations of multiethnic families. Little Guy runs and plays silly games with his dad, Little Pumpkin romps and giggles with Grandma, and Little Birdís mother catches her as she falls off the couch and gently carries her to bed for a nap.

We all want to provide our children with a sense of security and make sure they know that we love them no matter what. Sometimes the message gets through most clearly with a nice book and a cuddle on a parentís lap at the end of a long day.

Reviewed by Joanne Cronrath Bamberger, an attorney and freelance writer who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

©Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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