About the Holiday
Children benefit so much from close relationships to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family members. This month and next, as family gathers together for special holiday events, it’s fun for adults to share family history and their own funny stories of growing up with the younger generation. Letting kids know how much they’re loved by everyone in the family is important too. It helps them develop a sense of belonging, a good self-image, and confidence. Reading together is a perfect way to spend time together and get conversations started.
I received a copy of Love and the Rocking Chair from The Blue Sky Press for review consideration. All opinions are my own. I’m happy to be teaming with The Blue Sky Press in a giveaway of the book. See details below.
Love and the Rocking Chair
By Leo and Diane Dillon
A couple, about to have a baby, “stood in a sea of chairs, searching for just the right one.” Across the store they spied a delicate bentwood rocking chair carved with hearts and knew it was perfect. Soon after the chair was delivered, the couple’s baby boy was born. When they brought him home from the hospital, “his mother sat in the rocking chair, singing softly to her baby.”
When the boy was a little older, his dad read to him in the rocking chair. As the boy grew, the rocking chair became a “wild horse racing across the plains.” The boy rocked and rocked until the chair moved across the floor. When the chair came to the wall, the boy started over again. A few years went by and soon school beckoned. Now, the boy had friends and homework while the chair sat laden with forgotten toys.
Years passed and the boy went off to college. “The chair was moved to the attic,” where it gathered dust. While the boy was growing older, so were his parents. His “father became ill” and “one sad day, he passed away.” His son came home “to say a last goodbye to his father and to comfort his mother.” When the boy came home again, he brought along his fiancé. His mother hugged her like a daughter.
The young couple married and moved in with the man’s mother. Soon, they were going to have their own child. As they decorated the nursery, the man thought of the rocking chair. He brought it down from the attic and “lovingly dusted it off,” placing “it back where it belonged.” After the couple’s little girl was born, her grandmother rocked her in the chair and sang to her. She wished her husband could see her.
When the little girl was older, she rocked across her room in the chair. She was a sea captain sailing her boat “across the clouds.” Soon, she knew, she would “go to school, and make new friends, and have adventures all her own.” She looked forward to someday rocking a baby of her own in the chair. She thought of her parents and her grandparents and knew that “the love of her family would always be there.”
This last collaboration between two-time Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winners Leo and Diane Dillon is a beautiful tribute to family and the longevity of love passed from one generation to another. Based on the Dillon’s own experience, the story reveals the bonds that keep people close through changes, additions, good times, and loss through the beloved rocking chair that becomes a touchstone for the family. The Dillon’s lyrical text is straightforward and honest, showing transitions for each family member as well as for the rocking chair.
Endearing illustrations of the parents reading and singing to their babies will resonate with little readers and reinforce the story’s message. The images, rendered in earth tones and blocked and framed with a white border, mirror family photographs or snapshots of transformative and unforgettable moments in a family’s history.
A treasure to share with your child or a child in your family while talking about your own traditions, Love and the Rocking Chair is a tender story to add to home, school, and public library collections.
Ages 3 – 5
The Blue Sky Press, and imprint of Scholastic, 2019 | ISBN 978-1338332650
Love and the Rocking Chair Giveaway
I’m happy to be partnering with The Blue Sky Press, Scholastic, Inc. in a giveaway of:
- One (1) copy of Love and the Rocking Chair, by Leo and Diane Dillon
To be entered to win:
- Follow me on Twitter @CelebratePicBks and Retweet one of my giveaway tweets.
This giveaway is open from November 5 through November 11 and ends at 8:00 p.m. EST.
A winner will be chosen on November 12.
Giveaways open to US addresses only | Prizing provided by Scholastic, Inc.
Family Stories Month Activity
A special blanket to read with feels cozy and warm! With this craft you and your child can make a blanket for yourselves, a stuffed animal or even a pet! Children from ages 5 or 6 and up will enjoy helping to tie the tabs. For younger children, using fabric glue to attach the two pieces of fleece or cutting just one piece of fleece allows them to join in the craft fun.
- 2 pieces of fleece, solid, patterned, or a mix of both
- Measuring tape
- Fluff or pillow (optional for pet bed)
- Fabric glue (optional)
- Lay out one piece of fleece and measure a size that will make a comfortable blanket for the stuffed animal or is large enough for your pet to lie on
- Add 3 inches to that measurement on each side for the tie tabs
- Cut the fleece
- Lay out the second piece of fleece and cut it to the same size as the first piece
- With both pieces of fleece together cut three-inch long by ½ – ¾ – inch wide tabs all along each side. (If using fabric glue omit this step.)
- At the corners, four tabs will be cut off on each side
To Make a Blanket
- Tie the top and bottom tabs together on all sides
To Make a Pet Bed
- Tie the tabs together on three sides
- Add the fluff or pillow insert
- Tie the tabs on the final side
You can find Love and the Rocking Chair at these booksellers
Picture Book Review