Jay was overwrought and over-tired by bedtime tonight. I chose two books I hadn’t read to him before: Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen and The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn. He took one look at the book covers and said, “I don’t like those stories! I want action stories. I don’t want gentle and peace and quiet stories.”
Em tried to convince him that The Kissing Hand was one of the best books ever, but nothing doing.
So I read him a nonfiction book about volcanoes. Satiated by tales of blowing ash, hot lava, death and destruction, I was then able to read Owl Moon.
From the first line he was stock still, as if holding his breath. He heaved a sigh when at last Pa shined the flashlight on the Owl. Next came The Kissing Hand. Naturally, he asked me for one of his very own as I carried him to bed.
“Can we read those stories again tomorrow Mommy?”
“Of course we can honey.”
“I want to read them every night.”
I snuggled with him for a few minutes. Silence. Then: “I want to go Owling sometime.”
“We can do that.”
“That story filled my body with love.”
I smile in the dark, slayed. “Tell me how the story filled your body with love.”
“Well, it filled my body with joy and then I turned that joy into love.”
Does it get much better than that? I didn’t think so…
And people often ask why I write children’s books. Well, it turns out my son said it better than I ever could. Now, Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite. Quiet has its own kind of drama…Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Family, Picture Books · Tags: Audren Penn, Bedtime Stories, Bedtime Story, Children's Books, Family, Jane Yolen, Owl Moon, Picture Books, The Kissing Hand