About the Holiday
Reading with your child every day gives you time to relax, giggle, talk, and enjoy some precious moments together. In fact, that’s what National Reading Month is all about! So grab some old favorites and new finds – like today’s book – and make treasured family memories.
In My Heart
Written by Mackenzie Porter | Illustrated by Jenny Løvlie
A little girl tiptoes into her mom’s room, giggling as she jumps on the bed and wakes her up. They have breakfast together and get ready for their day. Buckled into her car seat, the girl says, “‘Mama, I will miss you. What do you do all day?’” With loving words, her mom takes her through her day. She says, “First, before I go, my love, I give you a good-bye kiss. / Then as I am leaving, I remind myself of this: / Though we’re not together, / we’re never truly apart / because you’re always on my mind / and you’re always in my heart.”
Her daughter learns that her mom starts thinking about her as soon as she drops her off to spend the day with other kids. Driving to work, Mama listens to her little one’s favorite song and thinks about how she sings along. While participating in meetings, she wonders if her little girl is learning new things too. And at lunchtime she feels especially close as she thinks of them eating the same meal. As she doodles, she’s reminded of the drawings taped up around their house.
But while the day brings joy and sweet memories, this mom reassures her wondering child that her favorite part of the day is picking her up so they can spend the evening and nighttime together. “Once I hear your voice again / the whole world melts away. / The moment you say ‘Mama’ is what I’ve waited for all day.”
For little ones missing Mom during the day, Mackenzie Porter’s lyrical story simply and beautifully connects a child’s experiences at daycare or school with their mother’s day at work. Examples familiar to all kids reassure them that throughout the day their mom is thinking about them and looking forward to being together again. Porter’s sweet repeated verse gives kids an easy-to-memorize reminder of their mother’s love to comfort them when they experience those pangs of separation. For working moms, In My Heart lets them share that they too feel those pangs but are always and forever bonded with their child.
Jenny Løvlie’s soothing colors and joyful scenes of mother-and-child togetherness create a tranquil reading experience that moms and their little ones will love to share. Hugs, hand-holding, gentle caresses, and mirrored smiles demonstrate the strong and caring relationship between the two. Facing pages portraying mom at the office and the little girl at daycare or school show that they are each independent yet connected by thoughts and their mutual love.
A delightful and poignant book that is sure to become a daily read, In My Heart would be a favorite addition to home bookshelves and school and library collections.
Ages Baby and Up
Little Simon, 2020 | ISBN 978-1534454330
To learn more about Jenny Løvlie, her books, and her art, visit her website.
National Reading Month Activity
Jar Full of Love
With this easy-to-make craft your child can see the love that’s in your heart. Whether you fill it up right away or add to it a day at a time, just looking at this jar will make your child happy.
- A clear jar with a lid—you can use a recyclable plastic or glass jar or buy a mason jar or other decorative jar at a craft store
- Red felt
1. Cut red hearts from the felt
2. Add hearts to the jar in a way that’s meaningful to you and your child. Here are some ideas:
- Fill the jar all the way to the top to show your child how your heart overflows with love for them
- Add one heart every day. As you and your child put it in the jar, talk about a time during the day that you thought about each other.
- Add one heart for each thing you love about your child, Write one trait on each heart
- Add a heart each time you do something fun together
3. Display the jar in your child’s room or somewhere else they can see it
You can find In My Heart at these booksellers
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound
Picture Book Review