Every night, without fail, Ada lifts a stack of books over her head and drops them next to me. “Only five books tonight, Mommy,” she says, reciting her favorite line from her favorite bedtime story, Olivia. She grins, waiting.
“No, Ada. Just one,” I say, just like Olivia’s mom does in the final pages of the book.
“How about four?” She is grinning ear-to-ear.
I sigh dramatically. “Oh, all right. Three. But that’s it!”
She is deeply satisfied with this little bedtime play of ours. “Momma?” she says. “Do I really wear you out?”
“Yep, baby. You really, REALLY wear me out.”
“But you love me anyway?!”
“I do. I love you anyway!”
This simple truth, I love you anyway, is what I hope my fiercely-independent, spirited little girl takes away from her life in this house. It is why I read this story to her over and over again. I want her to know without a doubt that at four or forty, I will love her anyway. Here are five other stories I adore sharing with her:
1. Someday by Eileen Spinelli
This book captures beautifully the mind of a little girl with big dreams. The illustrations are whimsical and fun and the story resonates with dreamers of all ages. Even at 30, I can relate!
2. The Block Mess Monster by Betsy Howie
The only thing bigger than Calpurnia’s imagination is the Block Mess Monster that lives in her room. Frustrated when her mom doesn’t realize the threat of the monster, Calpurnia soon learns that when she and her mom work together, they are twice as creative. This is the PERFECT story for spirited mom/daughter duos.
3. The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
The perfect story for the sort of girl who isn’t about to stand around waiting for a prince to save her!
4. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg
I love that this book so beautifully articulates the message that it’s okay to make mistakes. It is perfect for creative kids who get frustrated when things don’t turn out as planned. It has been tremendously helpful at our house!
5. Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis
This is one of our very favorites! The verse is fun, the pictures are adorable and it has taught my daughter how to identify and talk about her moods.
Do you have a spirited daughter? What do you love reading with her?