A Book I want to Pass on to Cooper

How do you tell your child no more books when they beg you to read more? Cooper, in her little soft voice, says, “mooore,” and then signs a book by opening and closing her hands like a book.  I tell her only one more before I sing a song and gently lay her into bed. Oftentimes, she begs for more.

I love that Cooper loves books. It brings back many fond memories of the childhood books I used to read. Thankfully, my mom saved a lot of these books so that one day we could read them to our babies. Well, the time has come. Before Cooper’s baby shower, my mom asked me to name my favorite childhood book. Without hesitation, I replied, “The one with the big red strawberry.” At the event, I opened up a present to find my original book titled Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood and Don Wood. Flipping through the worn pages, I couldn’t believe all the illustrations I remembered. This book has now become one of Cooper’s favorites. There is a moment in the middle of the story when the bear tries to eat the strawberry. The author writes,  “Boom boom boom” to describe the bear tromping through the forest. After hearing this story a dozen times, Cooper now calls strawberries Boom Boom Booms.

Since I am in Oregon for two weeks, I decided to visit the well-known book store in the heart of Portland, Powell Books, with my mom and daughter. Powell’s is the largest independent new and used chain of bookstores in the world. We packed up the car and took the 20 minute drive into the city to the bookstore that occupancies a full city block between N.W. 10th and 11th Avenue and W. Burnside. For any bookstore lover, this place is heaven on earth. Without a toddler in tow, I could easily spend a full day roaming the floor to ceiling bookshelves. With a toddler, it is more like damage control. Cooper ran around pulling off books from the shelves and plopping down on the floor to turn pages. As I was trying to prevent page tears and attempting to somewhat clean up the mess, she moved on to the next book. With the distraction of a little storytime hosted by one of the employees for Cooper, my mom and I were able to walk away with a couple of good children’s books.

My book agenda: I wanted a book to read to my daughter about Oregon and another book that introduced the concept she was going to be a big sister to a baby brother.

Luckily, I found both. The book titled Little Big Girl almost made me cry as I scanned the illustrations (gotta love those pregnancy hormones). The images definitely look like Cooper and what I imagine her soon-to-be brother will look like. I want to write a little message in the book and make sure I keep it for her so that one day, when her kids become big sisters or brothers, she can read it to them.