If you ask a Meg to choose a story . . .

If You Give A Mouse


At my cousin’s recent book-inspired baby shower (which was one of the most gorgeous showers I’ve attended — bar none. More on that in another post!), guests were asked to bring their favorite childhood reads to help build the new little one’s library. As I mentioned in January, I was all over this.

My mom and I made a trip to our local bookstore (yay, we still have one!) to wander the kids’ section. I hadn’t spent any amount of time back there since I worked at Borders, its previous incarnation, and those times were usually awful; they required me getting down my knees to pick up books that had been strewn all over the floor. I can count on one hand the times I’d wander back to the children’s section while working and wouldn’t discover a very localized tornado had chucked everything off the shelves and into the walkway.

But this time? Total fun — though choosing just one was really difficult. I spent way too much time debating the merits of several picture books, reminiscing with Mom about the times she’d read classics like “The Berenstain Bears” to my sister and me. In the end, I wound up selecting an unconventional favorite — because I feared my usual loves, like Dr. Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, might result in duplicates.

My choice? If You Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond.

Published in 1985, the year I was born, I remember spending hours reading and re-reading this story on the floor of my elementary school library. As kids, it was just hilarious. Described as a “circular story,” I loved the symmetry of it all. Although, at 7, I doubt I would have described it that way.

There are so many awesome children’s stories, though — many of which were highlighted at the shower. My sister brought a selection of Mercer Mayer’s “Little Critter” books and a few favorites from “The Berenstain Bears,” and Mom found a musical book featuring “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — the TV special she looked forward to watching every holiday season (and still does!).

It was so fun to see what others had chosen for Karen and Ben’s little girl or boy to come, and I may or may not have gotten some ideas for my own future kids’ secret library. Plus, the whole experience reminded me of some beloved classics I’d completely forgotten: like The Giant Jam Sandwich. Man, that book was awesome.

Um, I kind of added it to my Amazon cart. For . . . me.


Books at the shower


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13 thoughts on “If you ask a Meg to choose a story . . .

  1. I’ve mentioned in a previous post on my blog that I totally should have been a librarian! The amount of books I have are staggering, and I just keep going out and “rescuing” more from library book sales, half.com, thrift stores, you name it. I recently went to a friend’s baby shower who asked everybody to bring a book rather than a card, to stock the little lady’s library and I thought it was the best idea EVER. (totally stealing that idea when it is my turn)

    Nice choice by the way πŸ™‚ I love the “If you give…” series! (and Mercer Mayer AND Jam Sandwich AND Berenstein Bears ….)

  2. I’ve had fun discovering, as an adult, new children’s books with my son, who’s 5. Our favorites: If You Give a Moose a Muffin, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and The Little Blue Truck.

  3. This is really a cute idea. It was amazing to me, when I had my kids, how many books I received as gifts, many of them we still have. They were all so personal and so closely tied to the gift-giver’s nostalgia! (OMG I’m banging my head on the table…I was in college when you were born.)

  4. Don’t you just love the selection of children’s book these days? It’s impressive and hard to control not buying too many.

  5. What a great post! As a fellow Meg, I couldn’t agree more πŸ™‚
    This si such a neat idea, too. I’ll have to tuck it away for the next shower I attend! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’ve been to several baby showers that have asked guests to bring a book instead of a card and it’s always so much fun to see what everyone brings. You never know which one of the books kids will latch on to.

  7. I love this post! I have recently been to baby showers where I’ve taken books. My book of choice is Pat The Bunny. This was my favorite book growing up. I couldn’t find my copy recently, so I went and bought another one that is prominently displayed on my bookshelf. I love all of the books you mentioned.

  8. That’s a fun title for a book, I hadn’t heard of it before. We’ve mostly random books for my nephew, though he has Mr Men, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and when he’s a bit older we’ll be looking for more “classics”. It’s a good idea to choose the books you’ve loved, recommendations surely work just as well for children as they do adults.

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