August 11 – Son and Daughter Day

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About the Holiday

Today’s holiday celebrates the special relationship between parents and their sons and daughters. The lifelong bond takes work, dedication, and most importantly unconditional love, and its rewards are innumerable. Whether your child or children are still small, have moved away, or are somewhere in between, spend some time with them, tell them why they are unique, and tell them that you love them.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be

By Emily Winfield Martin

 

“When I look at you / and you look at me, / I wonder what wonderful / things you will be.” This opening sentence simply and beautifully expresses the emotions of parents and caregivers when first bringing a child home—and every subsequent day as they watch their kids grow and acquire their own talents, experiences, and opinions. From the first moments of a child’s life, the adults around them can’t wait to discover what is behind that sly smile, infectious laugh, even the pained cries. “When you were too small / to tell me hello, / I knew you were someone / I wanted to know.”

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Image copyright Emily Winfield Martin, courtesy of theblackapple.typepad.com

Martin reveals what caregivers know but children don’t yet realize—that the size of their heart, their wisdom, and their spirit is evident even when they are tiny, and because each child is unique the world holds a special place for them. Martin then opens that world to readers: “Will you stand up for good / By saving the day? / Or play a song only you / know how to play?” Perhaps the child will tell stories, help things to grow, or learn how to fly. Or will they “take care of things / Much smaller than you?” Whatever the child grows up to choose, parents or caregivers know that “they’ll be kind, and clever, and bold.” And when hard days come, being “brave” and “bright” will vanquish the “shadows.”

As each child matures and chooses a path in life, Martin leaves the reader of the book with these reassuring words any child needs to hear: “And then I’ll look at you / And you’ll look at me / And I’ll love you, / Whoever you’ve grown up to be.”

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Image copyright Emily Winfield Martin, courtesy of emilywinfieldmartin.com

When a child first comes into a home, parents or caregivers once again see the world in a new way—fresh and holding unlimited possibilities. Emily Winfield Martin captures that feeling with her lyrical words and delicate paintings. The vintage/retro illustrations populated with adorable children of various ethnicities, faithful pets, and favorite toys, give the book a universal feel. Throughout the book the children go about their tasks with confidence, thoughtfulness, and creativity—embodying the hopes and wishes adult readers have for their own children.

A gate-fold page toward the end of the book is a joy to explore as the illustrated children line up with costumes on as if for a school play or Halloween night. The different costumes invite readers to image what the children may grow up to be.

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Image copyright Emily Winfield Martin, courtesy of emilywinfieldmartin.com

The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a perfect gift for new babies or for older children graduating from high school or college. The book invites multiple readings and makes a wonderful addition to anyone’s library.

Ages Birth and up

Random House Books for Young Readers, 2015 | ISBN 978-0385376716

Discover more distinctive artwork and books by Emily Winfield Martin on her website!

Son and Daughter Day Activity

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I Love You Because…

 

Children love to hear why you think they’re special and why you love them. With this printable I Love You Because…template, you can tell the children in your life what makes them so loveable and unique.

Picture Book Review

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