All mothers get to be seen as the Meanest Mothers on Earth sometime, which makes Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Eartha gem which we can all relate to. Written by Kate Klise, illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise, it is a dear story about responsibility and disappointment. Little Rabbit wants to go to the circus, but his mother will only let him when he's finished cleaning the playroom. As most mothers know, playrooms rarely get cleaned willingly (or such is the case in our house) and all can understand the events that unfold after Little Rabbit fails to clean up, runs away anyway, and then advertises the Meanest Mother on Earth as a way to sell tickets to the circus. What happens when Mother appears is a delightful surprise that will give all a good laugh. The Klise sisters have created several other books that you can find on their website. I can't say enough about how charming the illustrations are and how touchingly their stories become resolved. This book is a new favorite that we will have to own.
Epossumondas Plays Possum by Coleen Salley is the tale of a possum lost in the deep and creepy Louisiana swamp. What first struck me as wonderful about this book was its' voice. Even though it's a book about a lost creature afraid of a terrible loup-garou, the tone and language of the book are playful and fun. The patterns in the book charm listeners into predicting what might happen next and reveal Epossumondas character. The characters shine. The illustrations are wonderful. It is a lot like Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth in that the mother says to do one thing and the character does another. I highly recommend sharing it with your favorite little listeners.
So Many Days by Alison McGhee, is the perfect gift to buy for anyone you love, but perhaps a graduate or your newborn child. It's got darling illustrations in wonderful muted hues, and it says, in short: "You are capable of greatness," a message we could all stand to hear now and then. If nothing else, check out a copy and read it to yourself in the mirror when you need to feel brave and empowered.