What’s in Mina’s Book Bag?

Fall is ending and winter is slowly coming, yet Mina will not reliquish the daily (multiple) readings of The Runaway Pumpkin — or as she likes to call it: the bumpy bumpy nana cooking book. My husband has it a bit harder than I, he is translating simultaneously into Turkish while he is reading her the story. PHEW! My brain hurts just thinking about that!

We have four other books that need to be read daily, all the time, any where, and sometimes at 2:30 am!

Rabbit’s Gift is a winter tale about a rabbit who finds two turnips and wants to share the extra. It is a lovely story and very well illustrated. I believe it is a rendition of a Chinese fable. It’s about having enough and sharing the extra with those less fortunate. It has helped her understand the concept of sharing and helping others. It makes getting rid of excess toys easier too.

This week, she and I went through her toys in the basement and I told her that she had too many toys, like rabbit had too many turnips. Let’s share with our friends. She nodded her head wholeheartedly in agreement. I held up a toy and asked “Share or save?” and she mostly said “Share.” I filled a pretty large basket with toys and clothes and she was quite content about it. No tears, no fuss about the toys going away. I couldn’t believe how easy it was and I think that book had a lot to do with it. Now, do I want to hear Mina reciting the book to me at 3 am? Um…not so much, but I will listen for a few minutes before tucking her back into bed.

The Searcher and The Old Tree is about a raccoon who returns to his trusty old tree to go to sleep after a long night of searching for food. A huge storms kicks in and tries to pull the tree from its roots, but the searcher sleeps on. Finally the raccoon wakes up to get some more food and notices that the ground is wet and the tree’s leaves are strewn about. He looks back at the tree and knows that tree will always be waiting for him when he comes home. It is a nice story about dependability. Scary things like storms can happen, but there will be always someone there to take care of you.

Elmo’s Clap Your Hands puppet book, which goes to the tune of “if you’re happy and you know it,” is a big hit in our house! Mina goes around singing the song all day long: If you’re happ–eeeeeee—do the DANCE!! WooHOOO!! If you’re hun-greeeeee, rub your tum-MEEEEE!! She calls this book the “if you’re happy” book.

She got Disney Bedtime Favorites for her birthday and she wants to read “Piglet’s Nightlight” all the time. She lugs the big book over and says “Mama, find Pooh!” To that I reply, “Page 239. Find it and I will read it.” She sits and tries and tries to find it, then turns to me again. “Help mama! Where’s Pooh?” At least she tried to find the story and it gave me five more minutes to chop the onions for dinner! ~ Elif

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