When a story makes you feel, it draws you in. Whether the story defines bravery as asking for help or shares the challenges of motherhood, if I feel my nose tingling I know the words have struck an emotion. The MomBabes made me laugh, cry and really feel seen. I found a piece of myself in every story which reminds me although we’ve been apart, we’re still all in this Motherhood thing together. Talking about bravery and redefining its characteristics into confidence and kindness got me sappy as well. And hearing my littlest ask for the Splash Splash book, well, you get it, pass the tissues.
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What Does it Mean to be Brave?
Written by: Kelly Shuto
Illustrated by: Maria Burobkina
From trying new food to showing kindness, this book shows how being brave has as much to do friendship and emotions as it does climbing high and having adventures. The author is a Kindergarten teacher which makes sense as this book feels like a learning opportunity and chance to expand thinking. The discussion questions at the back ask children to think about concepts like perseverance and recognizing bravery in others which I really enjoyed chatting about with the kids. We also loved finding the hidden heart on each page. The imagery is delightfully West Coast and I love the connections to being outdoors.
Being brave means being proud of yourself even when something doesn’t work out the way you hoped.
Find it: www.kellyshuto.ca
A Good Day for Ducks
Written by: Jane Whittingham
Illustrated by: Noel Tuazon
Publisher: Pajama Press
Gentle repetition and some onomatopoeia are keys to toddler happiness. Add textured illustrations and she’s hooked. This book lays out a perfect day in the rain complete with splashing, puddle jumping and watching the ducks. We enjoyed all the repeats and action words and phrases that are fun to say. This book has a real Vancouver feel as the siblings take their muddy boots off warm up with a warm drink. The water colour illustrations are perfectly calming for a bedtime story.
Tug tug, pull, pull
Off we go
Find it: pajamapress.ca
The MomBabes: A Motherhood Anthology
Written by: Christina Walsh and Carolyn Turkington
Co-authored by the MomBabe Community
Recommended audience: Grown-ups
Publisher: The Self Publishing Agency
The MomBabes Motherhood Anthology had me giggling, sobbing, thinking deep thoughts, grieving and feeling immense gratitude. Mothers are fierce, so asking 20 of them to write a chapter resulted in some powerful stories. Each chapter showcases humour, courage, bravery, triumph and, in my kitchen alone with a cup of tea, really made me feel part of a community of mothers I’d never met. A few other things I really appreciated about this book was that the chapters were short and the book is light. It fits in a purse or diaper bag in case there’s a brief moment when the kids are happy playing and you can whip it out to be momentarily reminded that motherhood is hard, but you’re not alone.
We don’t often consider grief and loss as part of the process of entering motherhood. The enormous responsibility of parenting can hit hard and sometimes we’re left aching for our former lives. Kinda like our old self died. Nobody talks at the gender reveal parties or baby showers about the sense of loss that can come with having a child. It’s always a celebration but we rarely discuss the, “I’ll never be the same again,” realization.
Find it: www.themombabes.com
Jenn Wint is a writer, communications strategist and a public relations specialist. She is passionate about storytelling and community. Jenn lives in East Vancouver with her husband, 3yo son and 1yo daughter. You’ll find them hanging around Vancouver’s playgrounds, water parks, coffee shops and anywhere that bakes fresh cookies in-house!