Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Legacy of Books: Blueberries for Sal

I love good books.  I always have. 
My older son (Lincoln, 2 1/2) loves good books.  He always has.  
And long before I had children of my own, I had children's books of my own.  

I don't actually know anyone else who gets as excited about children's books as I do, though I know you must be out there somewhere.  So the purpose of this blog is to share with you why I love the books I love, and to help you become a better lover of (children's) books yourself. 

In honor of the legacy of good stories in my own life, my very first book reflection is on Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey.  This is Lincoln's favorite book by my favorite children's book author, and we're about to give a brand-new copy to a brand-new little baby we'll welcome soon into our circle of friends.  
In the front cover of my copy there's a handwritten message.  It says: 
Happy 4th birthday, Lydia--
Your Aunt Colleen loved this story when
she was a little girl in Tennessee.  Now she
and Uncle Dennis and your new cousin Zachary
live in Maine, where the blueberries grow. 
Grandma Mary Ann and Grandaddy Paul
6 - 13 - 89

This sweet story has been part of my life for 23 years, and it's delightful to share it now with my sons, the third generation to go hustling through the blueberries on Blueberry Hill along with Sal and Little Bear.  I sometimes overhear Lincoln's little voice, over his own bowl of blueberries or just while playing out in the living room, saying "Pink, pink, PUNK!"  He often shares quotes from his favorite books when I least expect him to be thinking of such things, and it's so fun to have this glimpse into his thought process, imagination, and remarkable verbal and memory abilities.  

Read stories with your children.  Bring the characters to life for them with your voice inflection and facial expressions.  If you're not a very good reader, then of course you've got to practice so you get better at it!  If you're stuck in a rut of reading every mass-produced book about your child's favorite cartoon character, READ THIS BLOG!  I'll help you find some absolutely wonderful additions to your bedtime routine.  And when you choose genuinely good books to share together, you'll both take delight in getting to know and love the characters.  They become a part of you, and a part of a rich legacy for your own family.  


  1. Lydia:

    I am so glad that you grew up with books in our home. When I was growing up, my brother and sister and I heard many books read, before and after we were reading on our own. Usually my mom--but occasionally Dad--would read to us at bedtime. And we frequented the public library, bringing our Book Box to fill up each time. We'd come home with 20 books with each visit, the maximum allowed on Mom's library card. Perhaps two books would be for her, the rest for us kids. Your blog is a wonderful idea.

    Love, Dad

    1. Thanks Dad! Also a fitting further commentary on this post, dedicated to the legacy of reading in our family. A Book Box! 20 books! I can hardly fathom it. Maybe it's because we're in the season of life during which the same books are asked for over and over again :0)