Happy Monday, folks! It’s day 471 of self-quarantine, and people are doing weird things like buying asparagus and brussel sprouts (at least according to one very good friend of mine). But even with all of this COVID and quarantine stuff, you know what is FOR SURE still happening? *The babies are coming!*. That’s right – unlike us, the literal adults in the room, the babies are refusing to stay in the ultimate self-quarantine, and are rebelling like all the cats who are sick of their owners BEING HOME 24/7 WHY WON’T YOU GO AWAY NOW. No? Just mine? Huh.
Anyway! Since babies are a celebration, even in times like this, and gifts can still be sent via mail – I’m going to share a few of my absolute favorite books to give as gifts to those expecting. These happen to be books that many may not have heard of as well, and while everyone has their *favorite* book, I like to boost the smaller ones when possible. If you find one on this list, I make no money off of the links I share – I just use links for independent bookstores whenever possible. Two reasons for that: First, they’re struggling right now. Most indies run on *razor-thin* margins, even in the best of times. Second? If you’re going to order from The Evil A, you can do the work to (I mean, not THAT much work…but still…) search for it. SO! Links will be the caption under the images. And now! On to the books!
This board book, written by Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, is my absolute favorite of the newer titles out there. “Kulu” is a term of endearment in the Inuit language, and refers to babies and little children. So, essentially, Sweetest Baby and the rest of the book lives up to that little piece of wonderful. The illustrator, Alexandria Neonakis, did a FABULOUS job, and the colors are light and flowing and lovely. The story itself is essentially all the animals in the Arctic coming to greet the new baby, and to bestow gifts – tenderness from the Arctic Char, spontaneity from the Narwhal and Beluga, heritage and empowerment from the Muskox…and the list goes on. If I only had ONE book I could give to someone for their baby? IT WOULD BE THIS ONE. It’s destined to be a title that gets passed on from child to child to child.
This is a title that is just beautiful in its simplicity. The artist is First Nations, and there are Native images of nature spread throughout the book. Children will learn colors and seasons from the perspective of the natural world, and frankly, as an adult? I find the book absolutely soothing and lovely even *without* a little to read it to. Another great gift option that won’t steer you wrong.
Dear Girl, (There is also a Dear, Boy) is a picture book vs. a board book but – it’s another more recent favorite of mine. It’s a lovely reminder to a young girl (and a NOT-SO-YOUNG ONE TOO!) that she is strong and powerful and that she is important in this world. Honestly, I bought it for my pre-teen daughter when I found it, and I occasionally read it as well. It is truly a book that will last beyond just the small child years, because the message and artwork hold true for ALL ages. This is one I recommend *a lot* to aunts and uncles and grandparents and BFFs when they’re looking for a book as a gift, and don’t want to repeat one that’s already been given. And the majority of them buy it – because it’s just that good.
Ok, so there you have it. My top three books for gift-giving when someone I like is having a child. For people I’m not-so-fond-of? That’s another blog post for another day. *wink* Truly, you can’t go wrong with any of these books, and the beautiful thing about the top two is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the sex of the baby, because they’ll work regardless. Bottom one has a girl *and* a boy version, so really – I’VE COVERED ALL YOUR BASES FOR YOU. You can thank me later.
What about you guys? What are some of your favorite titles to purchase for new parents?