May 14 – Mother’s Day

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About the Holiday

We always love our moms, but on the second Sunday of May we celebrate everything they do for us. On May 9, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation establishing Mother’s Day as “a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”  First envisioned to honor all mothers instead of primarily your own, the day has become a personal holiday in which families celebrate in their own unique and meaningful way.

Just Me and My Mom

By Mercer Mayer

 

Little Critter and his pet frog were having a day out with Mom, traveling into the city on the train. Little Critter even got to buy the tickets himself. He’s also learned some manners and tried to help his mom get on the train, “but the steps were too high,” so his mom helped him instead. Soon they were all settled in and waiting for the conductor to punch their tickets. “But when the conductor came by, the tickets were gone. So Mom paid the conductor some more money.”

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Copyright Mercer Mayer, courtesy of Random House Books for Young Readers

They disembarked into a very busy city. All the crowds, sounds, and sights were a little overwhelming, but Little Critter was only thinking of his mom. He “held her hand so she wouldn’t be scared.” Their first stop was the Museum of Natural History with its rooms full of dinosaur skeletons and eggs that are so tempting to touch.

In the next room there was a Native American exhibit, complete with mannequins wearing costumes to try on. Little Critter dressed up “just for Mom. But the museum guard didn’t like that.” The guard quickly showed them into another room where the Aquarium was. “There were lots of fish in a big tank of water.” Somehow Little Critter’s frog joined them. During the seal show, Little Critter became part of the program. He didn’t mean to end up on stage, he just wanted “a closer look at the seals.”

The art museum had weird pictures, and lunch at the fancy restaurant ended before it even began when the maître d’ threw them out for having a frog at the table. They “decided to have a hot dog from a stand. That was more fun anyway.” Then came the boring part. “Mom wanted to go to a big store full of dresses and stuff like that. Yuck.” Little Critter even had to be fitted for a new suit. When they passed the toy department, Little Critter found the enormous teddy bear he had “always wanted but Mom said, “‘It’s time to go.’”

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Copyright Mercer Mayer, courtesy of Random House Books for Young Readers

Finally, it was time to head back to the train station. They took a taxi and Little Critter “got to ride in the front seat. The taxi driver drove real fast. That was cool.” At the ticket window Little Critter’s mom had a good idea. She bought the tickets herself because she “didn’t have enough money to buy more tickets if these got lost.” All in all, what would Little Critter say about his day? “We had fun, just me and my mom. I even stayed awake all the way home—well, almost.”

With an eagle eye and perfect pitch, Mercer Mayer reveals the way it is for parents and kids—with plenty of laughs sprinkled in. In Just Me and My Mom, the day may be full of mishaps and shenanigans, but Mayer is always focused on the sweet intentions of Little Critter and the loving relationship between mother and child. Mayer’s city bustles with his well-known animal characters who are colorful in so many ways. Kids will recognize and giggle at Little Critter as he plays ball with the seals, picks up the dinosaur egg, scowls at the tailor, and enjoys a high-speed taxi ride through the city. Adults will appreciate the mortified looks on Mom’s face and also understand her ready smiles.

Ages 3 – 7

Random House Books for Young Readers, 2001 | ISBN 978-0307125842

You can enjoy tons of fun on the Little Critter World-Wide Network, including activities, movies, apps, a sing-a-long, and more!

Mother’s Day Activity

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Happy Mother’s Day Card

 

Here’s a pretty vase of flowers for you to color for your mom! You can make it even more personal by writing one thing you like best about your mom in the center of the flowers. Get your printable Happy Mother’s Day Card here!

Picture Book Review

May 8 – Mother’s Day

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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.

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Image copyright Tina Macnaughton, 2016, text copyright Ruby Brown, 2016. Courtesy of Little Bee Books.

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.

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Image copyright Tina Macnaughton, 2016, text copyright Ruby Brown, 2016. Courtesy of Little Bee Books.

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!”

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Image copyright Tina Macnaughton, 2016, text copyright Ruby Brown, 2016. Courtesy of Little Bee Books.

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

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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!”

Supplies

  • Paper plate
  • Brown, yellow, and orange colored pencils or crayons
  • Black, orange, and red markers

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Directions

  1. Fold the sides of the plate in toward the center, overlapping one on the other a little
  2. Trim the top and bottom of each folded half-circle to make room for a head and tail
  3. Draw eyes and a beak just above the round center of the plate
  4. Outline the eyes in back marker and add pupils
  5. Draw and color a beak with the orange marker
  6. Color the back and front of the plate with brown, yellow, and orange colored pencils or crayons
  7. Write “I Love You” or whatever you would like to say to your mom in the center of the plate
  8. Fold the wings closed

Give  your mom your card along with a hug!

Picture Book Review