About the Holiday
Celebrating mothers dates back to the ancient Greeks and their annual spring festival honoring maternal goddesses. In the 1600s a Mothering Sunday was enacted in England, and employers encouraged their servants, apprentices, and any other employees who lived away from their families to visit their mother and bring her gifts. This tradition died out by the 19th century, but gained popularity again after World War II when it merged with the American holiday.
The first modern notion of Mother’s Day came in 1872 and belongs to Juliet Ward Howe. It wasn’t until 1912, however, after Anna Jarvis promoted the holiday through a letter-writing campaign to politicians and newspapers across the country that Mother’s Day was celebrated in every state. President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday in 1914. Now Mother’s Day is celebrated around the world. Today, let your mom know how much she means to you!
Cuddles for Mommy
Written by Ruby Brown | Illustrated by Tina Macnaughton
While Little Owl sits on the tree branch reading her book and watching her Mommy knit, she feels like giving her a cuddle. But what kind of cuddle should it be? There is the kind of cuddle that’s just right to say good morning. But it’s afternoon and Little Owl and Mommy have already had their good-morning cuddle.
Perhaps a goodbye cuddle then. Those always feel good when Mommy drops Little Owl off at school in the morning. But Little Owl isn’t going anywhere. Little Owl thinks and thinks. “What about the cuddle I give you when I’m sorry?” asks Little Owl. But Mommy reminds her that she hasn’t done anything wrong.
Then Little Owl has another idea: there’s a special cuddle Mommy gives when Little Owl is scared. That might work—except that Little Owl isn’t afraid now. After a while Little Owl says, “’I always give you a cuddle to say thank you. Like when you’ve brought me a new book.’” Mommy Owl tells her to hold on to that cuddle because they are going to the bookstore later.
Little Owl thinks and thinks. What other reasons are there to give a cuddle? There’s the excited happy cuddle, but while Little Owl is happy, she’s not excited. And cuddles come when Mommy is proud of her, Little Owl decides, remembering her trumpet performance last week. And when Little Owl is sick; Mommy always cuddles her then, but she’s not sick today. The good-night cuddle is always a favorite, but it’s far from bedtime now.
Suddenly, Little Owl has a fantastic idea. “I know what kind of cuddle I can give you RIGHT NOW, Mommy!” exclaims Little Owl. “She wrapped her wings tight around Mommy Owl and squeezed tight. The Mommy Cuddle! Just because I love you!”
Ruby Brown’s sweet dilemma makes for cuddle-perfect reading. The gentile and loving dialogue between Little Owl and her Mommy is a reminder for children that their mom is always there to make any day or event better with a hug and endless love. Kids will recognize and respond to all the different hugs and the nuances behind those squeezes.
Tina Macnaughton’s soft paintings of the adorable Little Owl and her Mommy are lit with glowing golds, greens, pinks and violets that reflect the love between them. Little Owl’s memories of all the different life events that elicit the cuddles she gives Mommy and gets in return are depicted with homey details that reinforce the closeness between mother and child. The special relationship between mother and child is evident on every page, where cuddles and hugs abound.
Little Owl is endearing in her earnest quest to find just the right hug for the feelings inside her, making Cuddles for Mommy an excellent book for bedtime or naptime—or for any time that a hug would feel just right. Cuddles for Mommy is a nice addition to a child’s bookshelf.
Ages 3 – 8
Little Bee Books, 2016 | ISBN 978-1499802030
Mother’s Day Activity
Make a Mother’s Day Hug Card
Moms love hugs on Mother’s Day—and any day! Make this Mother’s Day card that says “Owl always love you!”
- Paper plate
- Brown, yellow, and orange colored pencils or crayons
- Black, orange, and red markers
- Fold the sides of the plate in toward the center, overlapping one on the other a little
- Trim the top and bottom of each folded half-circle to make room for a head and tail
- Draw eyes and a beak just above the round center of the plate
- Outline the eyes in back marker and add pupils
- Draw and color a beak with the orange marker
- Color the back and front of the plate with brown, yellow, and orange colored pencils or crayons
- Write “I Love You” or whatever you would like to say to your mom in the center of the plate
- Fold the wings closed
Give your mom your card along with a hug!
Picture Book Review