Three New Children’s Books for Mother’s Day… And a Giveaway.

Glenys Nellist is one of my very first “author friends.” We became friends because we both love children’s spirituality. I found (and fell in love with) one of her first books: Love Letters from God and I reached out to her. The rest, as they say, is history. We enjoy shooting the breeze about children’s ministry and Christian publishing and all kinds of things. Thank you for your good work, Glenys! I’m happy to turn over the blog to her today to chat about Mother’s Day books. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway over on my FB page! – Traci

I recently read a fascinating article on USA Today entitled The 19 Best Mother’s Day Gifts of 2017. Top of the list was the ‘Gift of Scent’, closely followed, somewhat predictably, by the ‘Gift of Flowers’, and in at number three came the ‘Gift of Security’ (an indoor camera….as IF!)

I scanned quickly down the list, searching, searching for the gift I hoped to find, whizzing past the gifts of style, and beauty, and technology and ‘chic’, and nowhere, nowhere, did I find what I was looking for… I couldn’t believe it, but the ‘Gift of READING’ simply didn’t make it into the top 19. As a children’s book author, and an avid reader, I have to say: that is… Just. So. Sad.

And so, in an effort to compete with USA Today, here’s my top THREE recommendations of children’s books, newly released for Mother’s Day 2018, any one of which would make the PERFECT ‘Gift of Reading’… (and I’m even including a giveaway).

  1. Love, Mama, Jeanette Bradley’s debut picture book as an author/illustrator, is a treasure. Written for children aged 2-6 and reminiscent of the classic Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell, this endearing story features Kipling, the baby penguin, who fears that Mama will never return from her trip. One day, Kipling receives a note from Mama that reads:

My love for you stretches across the wide ocean, 
through day and night, 
from earth to sky 
and back again.

And when Mama finally does return, Kipling realizes that no matter how far away she may travel, nothing can separate him from Mama’s love. The illustrations in this book are as charming as the text—Love, Mama is a five-star read, especially for little ones dealing with separation anxiety.

  1. Mommy’s Khimar, another debut picture book from author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrator Ebony Glenn, is just a truly lovely story that explores the relationship between a young Muslim American girl and her mother. The book begins:

A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears…

which is enormously helpful, since I did not know that! (I only knew it as a hijab). The young girl proceeds to dress up in her mom’s colorful khimars and is able to feel her mother’s love in each one. A wonderful feature of this book is the interfaith family that is represented: the girl’s grandmother is portrayed as a Christian, and the protagonist sees diversity as a wonderful thing:

We are a family and we love each other just the same.

The Kirkus Review sums up the power of this book perfectly in two sentences:

“At the core of the story is the love between the girl and her mother….The words are often lyrical, and the story artfully includes many cultural details that will delight readers who share the cheerful protagonist’s culture and enlighten readers who don’t. With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked cultural group.”

  1. The third new release for Mother’s day this year is a light-hearted, charming exploration of baby animals and their mommies. Now I may be a tad biased, since I am the author, but what’s not to love about Mommy Dolphin, just one of eight cute animals featured in God Made Mommy Special?

Come and meet my mommy,

She’s teaching me to swim.

We jump high from the water,

And splish-splash right back in!

My mommy is the leader,

She knows just where to go.

God made Mommy special—

Oh, how I love her so!

This padded cover board book, written for children aged 5 and under, closes with a celebration of the love between human parent and child, because even though God made all mommies special, there’s none as special as YOURS!

And now for the best part! My publisher, Zonderkidz, has graciously offered to give not one, but two of these adorable books away! You can win a copy of God Made Mommy Special along with its twin, God Made Daddy Special by leaving a comment under this post on Traci’s Facebook Author Page. Please note, entrants must live in the USA and have a physical street address. (no PO boxes) The winner will be announced on Monday 7th May.

Wherever you are in the world, I do hope you have a very happy Mother’s Day, and that you give, and receive, the ‘Gift of Reading’!

Glenys Nellist, Children’s Book Author

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