“Llama Llama Red Pajama from Anna Dewdney is my son’s favorite book. The baby llama wants his momma (he’s supposed to be going to sleep) and screams bloody murder when she doesn’t come back up right away. Good book for opening conversations about patience, anxiety, and nighttime fears! Ten years later, I can still recite it from memory. Also check out a recent rap version by Ludacris on YouTube.” ― Elizabeth Washburn Galbraith
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Grandfather only speaks Thai. Grandson only speaks English. After some trying and failing to communicate through language (the grandfather’s words are shown in Thai characters; the boys in English) the two realize they can connect through art. The boy draws his version of a wizard; grandpa draws his version of a wizard. From there, the story morphs in a language-barrier art battle of sorts except the two build a bridge and create a new world that’s beyond, well, words. It’s a great story, one that’s made all the more engaging by Santat’s illustrations.

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“Someday by Alison McGhee. I still can’t even read it without choking up. It is about the life cycle, about your first memories with your baby, watching them grow, the conflicting feelings you have in life. It says so much with so few words. The line is something like, ‘Sometimes I watch you sleep, and I dream too...’ (seriously crying just writing this and my kid is 4-and-a-half).” ― Amber Manke
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