Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wherever You Go

Babies and young children take great delight in exploring their worlds, and for good reason: there’s always something new and exciting to see and do. Some are more intrepid than others, but eventually the appeal of the unknown wins over even the most cautious among them. Pat Zietlow Miller’s Wherever You Go offers a new spin on Dr. Seuss’s Oh, The Places You’ll Go through the character of a friendly rabbit who points out all of the wonderful things that await us on the many roads in our future if we’re willing to be a participant in the process. “Want an adventure?” she asks. “Just open your door.”

Miller uses a wide array of encouraging phrases in rhyming text, and Eliza Wheeler’s appealing pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations lure young readers into the world beyond. “Which path should you choose? That’s easy to see. The one that will take you where you wish to be.” A handsome crew of animals travels across rivers, through forests, from deep valleys to mountaintops, and into the city, then out again. In the end, those roads all inevitably lead back home.

Our little ones will usually venture as far as they can, thrilled with the excitement of it all, then come running back to touch base at the safe place they call home, with us. This behavior may be repeated at different points as they get older, as well. Encouraging independence while reassuring them that they can always return to the familiar safety of home is a valuable gift we can give to them, and a boost to self-confidence that will serve them well as they grow. The sanctuary we offer is the foundation of trust, and, together with familiar stories, becomes a building block that forms strong bonds and an adventurous and empathetic spirit. How fortunate we are to have so many amazing books that our children can read and learn from as they navigate the paths in front of them, wherever they go!

Guest post by Bridget W.

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