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Baby Health in Winter Ties that bind

Baby Health in Winter

The Love Letter by Anika Aldamuy Denise: A hedgehog, bunny, and squirrel each in turn stumble upon a love letter. Thinking it was intended for them, each animal feels uniquely affirmed, and they spread their good cheer to others around them. The question of who the letter came from leads to a wonderful mix-up, uniting the animals and their separate vignettes, but the answer is not what they expected. This lighthearted story echoes the proverbial truth that “kind words are like honey” and the sweetness often spills over to others. Set in early winter, the book’s charming characters and soft-hued illustrations make for a delightful read-aloud. (Ages 4-8)

The Tale of the Tiger Slippers by Jan Brett: Throughout years of toiling and eventual wealth, a Bengal tiger wears a pair of slippers his mother stitched for him. When his friends mock him for wearing the old, raggedy slippers, he tries to get rid of them, but they always make their way back to him. So he builds a special fountain in the garden to house the slippers and serve as a reminder of his mother’s care and of his humble beginnings. Brett’s retelling of the Persian folktale is visually stimulating with her signature paneled style and vibrant illustrations portraying elegantly clad animals and lush vegetation. (Ages 4-8)

Birdsong by Julie Flett: Katherena and her mother move from family, friends, and a “city by the sea” to a rural home with one neighbor, an elderly woman named Agnes. As the seasons change, Katherena befriends Agnes, sharing Cree words with her and an appreciation for nature and art. She picks up drawing again for the first time since the move. When Agnes’ health fails, Katherena sweetens her final bedridden days and realizes how enriched her life has been because of their friendship. Flett incorporates her own Cree-Metis heritage and signature minimalistic illustrations, giving this book a unique quality. Its message of intergenerational relationship and shared passions provides enduring value. (Ages 4-8)

Love and the Rocking Chair by Leo and Diane Dillon: An expectant couple buys a rocking chair for their nursery. It is used to cradle a new baby and then for reading and playtime. The rocker is forgotten as the boy grows up and heads to college and his father becomes ill and dies. But when he marries, he and his wife move in with his mother, and the rocker is put to use for a new generation. The couple’s little girl hopes one day she will rock her own children in the chair. The Dillons, an award-winning author/illustrator duo, tell this story of intergenerational love in their final collaboration before Leo’s death in 2012. (Ages 3-5)

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