Children’s Book Giveaway: The Day the Babies Crawled Away.
March 09, 2011

When I compiled the list of books to feature this year, I based it entirely on reader recommendations with one exception: The Day the Babies Crawled Away, by Peggy Rathmann.  This is a book that a friend passed along to Charlotte several months ago.

Quite frankly, it’s the most-read book in our home.  Books in our home typically go through phases.  Donald and I let Charlotte select half of our morning reading stack – and we select the other half.  When she picks books that focus on dogs, for example, I supplement with picture books about dogs from the library…and I pick a semi-related chapter book like Where the Red Fern Grows to read to her while she nurses or during the cuddles just before naptime.  After a week or two, she’ll usually enter a different phase.  Maybe rainbows.  Or farms.  Or circuses.

(We’re in the circus phase right now.)  (Yesterday I recited this book from memory on our afternoon walk – AM AWESOME INCARNATE!) (Also, clearly I need a life.)

Lately we spend a lot of time reading in couch cushion forts, empty cardboard boxes, and in the ‘cave’ which is (shhh don’t tell!) really just a sheet draped over the coffee table.

Anyway, my point is that The Day the Babies Crawled Away has not been phased out for a single day in the last six months.  I have read this book again and again and again for SIX MONTHS, people.  If that isn’t a rave review from a toddler, I don’t know what is.

Sometimes when I surprise my daughter by bringing Rathmann’s book along to the park, she literally jumps for joy.  Both feet off the ground, ridiculous smile, happy shrieks, JUMPS for joy.  And although I’m not quite as elated about the book as Charlotte is, I have to admit that I do truly enjoy it.  The story is about a group of babies who crawl away while their parents are distracted at a picnic – and the young child who chases after them and saves the day.  It’s an excellent story told in an offbeat rhyme.  I love books that put children in charge, but I especially love that this one uses such simple prose.  I feel like it leaves a little more up to the child’s imagination.  The story stretchers for The Day the Babies Crawled Away are endless.

I also adore Rathmann’s illustrations.  The entire book is done in creative silhouettes, which makes it as appealing to babies as it is to toddlers.  We have a couple other picture books illustrated in silhouette style and all of them are huge hits with Charlotte, but this one takes the cake.  The background colors follow the day – from morning dawn colors to a bright mid-day sunlight to evening dusk – and each baby in the illustrations has an identifying characteristic such as curly hair that adds a fun dimension to the silhouettes.  Furthermore, the illustrations are filled with patterns.  One of our favorite parts of reading this book together is finding the animals and each individual baby and talking about all of the background patterns.

In short, I love The Day the Babies Crawled Away.  Charlotte loves The Day the Babies Crawled Away.  And it is one of the most incredible picture books on the planet.

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this: have you fallen in love with any books lately (It doesn’t have to be for kids!)  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Sunday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time.  You can leave one entry every day.

To purchase this book: You can buy The Day the Babies Crawled Away through (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie

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  1. By on March 09, 2011

    One of our favorite books lately is Pete the Cat, about a laidback cat who doesn’t worry if his favorite shoes get dirty.  Those Leslie Patricelli books are also a huge hit with my nearly 9-month old.

  2. By beyond on March 09, 2011

    i’ve been reading the mayo clinic pregnancy book, which is more thoughtful and less fear-inducing than other ‘serious’ pregnancy books.

  3. By on March 09, 2011

    My son loves Little Critter by Mercer Mayer- what we don’t already own we check them all out from the library. He can’t get enough of them, he’s 2.5.

  4. By on March 09, 2011

    I love reading “Snuggle Pupply” by Sandra Boynton. My son is a bit picky about what books he’ll let us read, but he always loves when I read this one. I love it because you read it, but it’s also sort of a song and you can to make a fun “oooooo” like a dog AND the book ends with a big kiss, which I love giving my son! :) He likes it because at one point you whisper the words and then you get really loud with the “ooooo!“

  5. By on March 09, 2011

    I really loved Room, which from the description sounds like it’s going to be a depressing book, but is not. Once you start reading, it’s hard to put down.

  6. By Kimberly o'Rosky on March 09, 2011

    Our new favorite is Color Zoo. Charlotte gets so excited over the animal faces and bright colors. It’s a great introduction to shapes too!

  7. By Jennifer W on March 09, 2011

    My guilty pleasure is the Twilight Series…yeah I said it. lol

  8. By on March 09, 2011

    My daughter was gifted the most wonderful book for her first birthday last month. It’s called Odd Velvet by Mary Whitcomb and Tara Calahan King. It’s such a cute book. It’s about a girl named Velvet and all the other kids at school think she is odd. The kids get invited to her home for her birthday party and discover how fun and creative Velvet is and accept her.

  9. By on March 09, 2011

    I love the novel Emma.  I read it years ago but recently re-read and love it just as much as ever.  Of course, I’d have to look askance at anyone who didn’t love the work of Jane Austen! 

    As far as kid lit goes, I recently fell in love with The Spider and the Fly (Tony DiTerlizzi, illustrator).  And I truly am in love!  I’ve often wondered if a kids’ book could be written in which a mosquito was a central, loveable character.  I still don’t have an answer to that, but thanks to DiTerlizzi, I’ll never think of flies the same way!  Oh my gosh, I do love this book!

    By the way, I was curious about who won your recent book contests.  You used to announce the winners, but perhaps you’ve switched to a policy of confidentiality.  In any case, I guess I have to assume I wasn’t among the lucky few this time.  Thanks for your ongoing book recommendations and giveaways!  Always so much fun!

  10. By Stephanie @ Confessions of a Trophy Wife on March 09, 2011

    Right now my son’s favorite book is called Touch and Feel Baby Animals.  He LOVES to run his fingers over the pages and he has started to try to feel the pages on “regular” books because he loves the Touch and Feel one so much!  It’s so sweet, I love it!

  11. By on March 09, 2011

    My baby girl LOVES her Peek-a-boo book.

  12. By Sarah Christensen on March 09, 2011

    Ellie - I had a couple complaints from people who didn’t like their name being announced as the winner publicly - I guess someone e-mailed them harrassing them about it.  So now I sit down at the end of each month, select winners, and e-mail them.  Sometimes they send out a little note via Facebook, Twitter, a comment here, or post about it on their own blog.  Sometimes they don’t.  I’ve been trying to figure out what a good balance might be - someone suggested asking people to send in photos of people reading their winnings with their munchkins, or their grandkids, or just hanging out on a bookcase, that sort of thing and including it somewhere on the blog periodically as an update that we’re slowly making a difference?  So far that’s the best idea I’ve got!

  13. By on March 09, 2011

    We are stuck on Dr. Seuss’s Hop on Pop.  My son’s excitement over this book has totally made me fall in love with it!  Thank goodness for that because I only read it like 19 or 20 times a day!

  14. By on March 09, 2011

    I’d be willing to send a picture of my Charlotte and I with the book we won.

  15. By Megan B. on March 09, 2011

    This will be easy to leave a comment for each day, because I have enjoyed so many books lately. Like a previous commentor, I also enjoyed Room. It actually made me think about my parenting a lot, and what would happen if I had to truly solo-parent like Ma does. Brayden has been requesting Brown Bear, Brown Bear a lot lately.

  16. By Diane on March 09, 2011

    Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is fantastic.  One book that can last for hours at a time…not so much for a story but for pictures to identify, little pigs that travel everywhere, and an adorable Goldbug that is hidden on every page. My boys loved!!! it.

  17. By on March 09, 2011

    I fell in love with Anna Karenina—I’ve been avoiding it for as long as I can remember, and finally, in my 35th year, I made it my New Year’s resolution to read it!

  18. By on March 09, 2011

    One of our faves (which we bought bc of your rec) is Star Baby!  Also “Whose Mouse Are You?“

  19. By christy on March 09, 2011

    my boy likes “bright baby animals” and has since birth!!! his face lights up for “kitten” LOL

  20. By Lauren @ In the Pudding Club on March 09, 2011

    My book du jour is It’s a Book by Lane Smith.  Eloise and I recently protested the cuts made to our local library and we brought that book along to the protest.  It also taught my 19-month-old how to say the word Jackass which scores big points.

  21. By on March 09, 2011

    I love The Maggie B. by Irene Hass. My son and I love it! It has amazing watercolor illustrations and the story is just darling- a little girl wishes for a ship named after her and gets it. It was one of my favorites as a kid.

  22. By on March 09, 2011

    We have fallen in love with the book “Ferocious Wild Beasts” by Chris Wormell. This book is so cute! I think I might like it more than my 2 year old, I could read it over and over (which I have) and not get tired of it!

  23. By on March 09, 2011

    My son’s recent favorites are the David stories by David Shannon (We must’ve read “David Goes to School” at least 6 times a day for the past month).

  24. By on March 09, 2011

    1. “Spoon”. Jude loves it. Can’t get enough of it. The pages are practically falling out from reading it so much.

    2. “Tom’s Tail”. We got this in a clearance section of ‘not so successful children’s books’ when Jude was having a minor obsession with pigs and he just has to see the corner of it peaking out from behind another book and he’ll start snorting like a pig, which is code for “that’s the one I want to read”.

  25. By on March 09, 2011

    Oh yes.  I fall in love with books over and over and over again.  Longtime love will be The Red Tent for me.  For my son, anything by Sandra Boyeton currently makes his heart patter. 

    Just fell in love with The Book of Negroes this week.  Great story.

  26. By Tracy Roberts on March 10, 2011

    Glad she loves it so much.  I think children know why certain things speak to them.
    Obviously no need to enter me in this one.  I have it :)

  27. By on March 10, 2011

    Hey Sarah, thanks for getting back to me regarding my question!  So sorry to hear some of the winners got harassed!  That stinks!

    Another book that I have fallen madly, madly in love with is Tenzin’s Deer by Barbara Soros.  The story is just beautiful, the illustrations are jaw-dropping.  I don’t think this book is particularly well-known, but it so deserves to be.  It is about a little boy and his relationship with a wounded deer in Tibet.  You should check it out—I think you would love it!

  28. By Jennifer W on March 10, 2011

    I love love love the kids book, “I love you Stinky Face”. So cute.

  29. By on March 10, 2011

    My daughter is 22 months old. Our current favorite is Let’s dance little Pookie by Sandra Boynton. We’ve had this one for a long time but, she’s started enjoying it just recently. She does all the steps with little Pookie and it’s a treat to watch! We’ve enjoyed a lot of your recommendations. Look forward to reading this latest one.

  30. By Megan B. on March 10, 2011

    I’ve also just finished and enjoyed A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

  31. By Mary @ Parenthood on March 10, 2011

    We’re all about farms and animals at the moment, probably because we often visit the Ottawa Agriculture Museum and they have baby animals.  “Le tout petit fermier” is our current favourite - really cute!

  32. By on March 10, 2011

    An adult book series I’ve really been loving is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I don’t have much time to read, but I’ve been listening to these books on CD and the reader of the books, Davinia Poter is phenomenal! She does such a good job bringing the characters to life.

  33. By on March 10, 2011

    Oh…. We also really like Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? So…...........cute!

  34. By on March 10, 2011

    I just started reading the J.R. Ward series, the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Another vampire series, but so good!

    My daughter likes any book that she can put in her mouth!! She is really into bath books right now ‘cause she can combine her two favorite loves!

  35. By on March 11, 2011

    I have wanted to read Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell for years (since high school), and I finally did!  I wonder what took me so long.  It is beautiful writing, and the stories of otters are charming and fascinating (but sad and tragic, too, be forewarned)!  I love this book.

    The Village That Vanished by Ann Grifalconi is a favorite kids’ book for me at the moment.  It is set in pre-colonial Malawi and has several strong female characters.

  36. By Jennifer W on March 11, 2011

    I loved the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett…such a good read.

  37. By on March 11, 2011

    My family currently loves Snuggle Puppy.  My husband picked it up on a whim and it has become a nightly read with baby and our very own snuggle puppy

  38. By on March 11, 2011

    grown up book: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” - i read it a while back but i really enjoyed it.

    kids book: Ernest & Célestine”, french book about a bear and a little mouse. My all-time favourite as a kid also.

  39. By on March 12, 2011

    OK, this isn’t a particularly original choice of book to mention because it seems to me that almost everyone knows and loves this book, but I am also in love with The Lorax by Dr. Seuss!  I’m thinking this might be his greatest book of all, but I haven’t read everything he wrote, so I guess I can’t say for sure.

    I also absolutely love the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (again, a very popular choice)!

  40. By Micki on March 12, 2011

    My favorite book for children is Chicken Big.

  41. By Chandra on March 12, 2011

    I like to read my daughter Franklin book series

  42. By on March 13, 2011

    I fell in love with Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis.  It’s a really wonderful book.  It was one of the first books I recommended to my husband when we were first dating, and happily, he loved it, too.  (Otherwise, who knows where the relationship would have ended up!)

    For children, I also love all the Frances stories by Lillian and Russell Hoban (Bedtime for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, etc).  This series is not to be missed!





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