Emma Middleton discusses why picture books can make the best Mother’s Day gifts. Her recent release The Bear in our Backyard is a celebration of mothers, and even comes with a bonus card to make gift giving a breeze.
There are many reasons why picture books can make the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but two are particularly close to my heart.
Firstly, stories can express sentiments of love and appreciation in a way that is not possible for a young child to articulate. When a story about parents and their children is shared, an opportunity to reflect upon the special qualities of parental love is created.
As Shaye Wardrop says in her review of The Bear in our Backyard, ‘Part of a special game between child and parent, the bear is, of course, not really a bear.
This time it’s Mum who’s playing pretend, and she knows all the best games to play.
Bear can swing our skipping rope and hula hoop so fast.
We leap and twirl and whizzy whirl, then tumble down at last.
Middleton has once again delivered a gorgeous story that celebrates the special connection between children and their parents, and it’s all about mums in this loving tale.’ Stories can evoke emotions in unique and poignant ways.
While the parent reads the story, the child is absorbed in the illustrations and the visual narrative. Briony Stewart has created superb illustrations for The Bear in our Backyard, with meticulous detail, heavenly colour schemes and characters that radiate love and life.
Secondly, the very act of reading a picture book at the end of a long day creates a loving and focused time to spend together. Within these minutes of the day, parent and child are often snuggled together, absorbed in their shared experience. This may be the only real time of the day when there are no interruptions, a peaceful atmosphere and time for undivided attention. A perfect time to feel the bond of parental love and create memories that last a lifetime.
Wardrop says about The Bear in our Backyard, ‘With rhythmic rhyme flowing throughout, this is a perfect book for bedtime snuggles.’
The Bear in our Backyard is published by Affirm Press (April 2018)
We are running an exciting competition for Mother’s Day! You could win a signed copy of ‘The Bear in our Backyard’ AND ‘The Lion in our Living Room’ written by Emma Middleton and illustrated by Briony Stewart.
All you have to do is post a picture of one of your favourite picture books that celebrate Mothers on twitter or Instagram!! Make sure you tag Emma @EmmaMpicbooks (twitter) or emma_middleton_ (Instagram) . Also use the hashtags #picbookmums and #picbookbc. The competition will run from Thursday 3rd May – Monday 7th May and the winner will be announced Tuesday 8th May. Australia only.