Children’s Book Corner is a column suggesting children’s books from a mother of 11 children, who has also explored writing for children. Today’s column highlights a fun children’s book read for May that will hopefully keep your young reader reading!
By Pamela Tuck
The cliché goes: April Showers bring May flowers!
With that being said, there is a flower that represents May . . . it’s the Lily of the Valley. It’s ironic that this flower signifies a return to happiness. And its meaning is Sweetness, Motherhood and Hope.
As we continue to face our global crisis, the Lily of the Valley is a welcomed beacon of light, and a metaphorical badge for those of us who continue to hope for the sweetness of life to return.
May has so many symbolic meanings for me personally. As I mentioned in my very first post, I am the mother of 11 beautiful children. However, I failed to mention that I am also a widow, who lost my dear husband and friend in November 2014. He was the fire behind my writing and after his death, I didn’t think I would write again. Nevertheless, his belief in me and my writing inspired me to continue to pursue my dream of writing.
I later decided to enroll at Reading Area Community College to hone my writing skills and with each passing semester, my hope increased. Now I’m at the end of that journey. Yes, this beautiful month of May represents a sweet hope for me . . . the month I graduate from the Creative Writing Program.
The journey hasn’t been easy, but challenges never are easy. However, they come to make us stronger. As I watched my children grow and prosper after the passing of their father, it inspired me to recapture my hopes and dreams. Their energy kept me charged and empowered me to move forward, not only in life, but also in my career as a writer.
So, as I bid a bitter-sweet farewell to my extended family at RACC in this final post, I want to share my last book recommendation. A book that is not just a story, but a book that has a story behind it.
And the story goes like this:
As I sat in my car waiting for my oldest son, I spoke with my husband, Joel, and told him that I felt like the old woman who lived in a shoe. (I had every good reason to feel that way as the mother of 11 children, ranging from age 16 to 1 with endless chores and duties). He then replied, “Why don’t you write about the young woman who lives in a shoe.” He knew I was on a 30-day picture book idea challenge, and I needed to write down a book idea every day for a month. I really believe he was being sarcastic, but at least he gave me a picture book idea.
A few months later, I joined a rhyming picture book group and had to write a rhyming story to share with the group. As I looked through my list of options, what would pop out, but the “shoe house” story. I mean it was based on a nursery rhyme, right? I drafted my first version of the story in April 2014. Little did I know that by November of that year, I would become a young woman raising 11 children alone.
The story sat for a while, until I decided to breathe life into it again . . . to preserve the memory of our happy family of 13 and the ordinary days that slowly changed into a new normal.
Although, the original version of the story Joel read underwent several revisions, the story still held the essence of his suggestion and the sweet memory of motherhood and fatherhood that constantly brought me hope . . . it became my Lily of the Valley.
So, I bid you all a sweet farewell, as I journey to the next chapter of my life, but remember when life orders us to a standstill, it’s all right to be still and wait. We need time to get our bearings. But when we are ready to move again . . . always move forward.
I’ll close this post with one final book recommendation, the story that represents May in the spirit of motherhood and Mother’s Day.
Drumroll please . . .
You can see a video of me reading this book by visiting my YouTube Channel.
Judah Tuck has ten siblings, and he’s on a mission to give the old woman who lives in a shoe some advice on how to manage a large family! Although a typical day in the Tuck family may contain some chaos, Judah and his siblings find a way to pull things together before Daddy comes home. Join Mom, Judah, and his brothers and sisters as they work through the day. . . and learn what family is truly all about.
Hopefully, this suggestion will inspire you to find happiness in the little things in life . . . and as always . . . keep you and your child reading!