Sunday, August 26, 2018

So much!

Extended family celebrations are something young children always look forward to. I guess it’s only as they grow up that they prefer staying away from them! Since both my kids haven’t reached that I want-to-be -left -alone phase as yet (thank God!) and more so, having been blessed with large extended families on both sides... social interaction with relatives has never been a problem with them (at least so far!) 

While our older one has always been comfortable interacting with his first and second cousins, cousins’ cousins, uncles and aunts, grand uncles and grand aunts, grandparents’ siblings, and grandparents’ cousins, (Phew!) ... at religious or social family gatherings or during their visits home,  (though he may not remember exactly how they may be related to us!), it was a pleasant surprise to see our little one  taking in to her extended family circle with ease and even basking in the extra attention she gets for being one of the youngest in the group.

So it was only natural that one of Aadya's all time favourite books has been  "So Much" by Trish Cooke and illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. A chance find at our  erstwhile favourite hang-out, Kutoohala, I have been waiting for the right occasion to feature this book on Onestoryaday! While we had borrowed and returned this book a multiple times at the library, under the trusted assumption that I could always borrow it again and never once did I imagine that there would be a time when this book would become altogether unavailable on account of closure of the library!  I will never forget that day in March at the library's closure sale when I tried to scourge all the sections of the library looking for this book and finally had to leave with a heavy heart, not only as I couldn't find the book but also because, I could never ever go back to Kutoohala which was more than just a library to me, it was my weekly relaxation therapy, a quiet retreat for me to escape into and a haven for books to pick as I'd imagine my toddler would enjoy! So this book "So much" (which I finally bought online) will always be special as it's a throwback to those good old days when I could stop over on the way back from work, to my little happy place of wonderful children's books!

Steering away from my ramblings, I must say that many of our reading sessions  culminate in a grand finale which almost always happens to be the reading of "So much", a book that is also a shout out to diversity and multi-culturalism. Set in a Caribbean Household with a big extended family full of loud and vivacious relatives,  "So much" is centered around a baby who is the apple of everyone's eye, just like all young kids at home. The day happens to be a special occasion as the mom and baby welcome the relatives who arrive one after another, with the doorbell going "DING DONG" announcing the arrival of all the relatives from aunty Biba, uncle Didi, nanny and gran-gran, to cousin Kay-Kay and big cousin Ross, who arrive in their characteristic styles and all of whom want to engage and pamper the baby in their own way- from wanting to squeeze the baby, to kiss the baby, to eat the baby (figuratively of course), and wrestle the baby as they love him "so much"! As the house gets a little too crowded for comfort with all the noisy relatives driving their own agenda, the final ding-dong sounds off....a moment they have all been waiting for ..... to surprise the baby's daddy on his birthday. This book is a joy to read to your little one .............vivid illustrations, this book also  offers plenty of fun read-aloud moments from guess-work to repetitive phrases for your little one to follow through and not to forget mirroring the cuddles and kisses on to your little one whom you love so much! Well....we couldn't have asked for a better book as it also happens to be the Daddy's birthday today.....which we celebrated with our extended family.............. so Happy birthday to our little one's  daddy! ­:-)

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