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this week's library book

I like to try out children's books before I buy them. I've made too many impulse purchases on amazon, and then realized that the book was just not as clever or cute as all the five-star reviews said it was (probably written by the author's mother). So when I hear a recommendation for a book, I try to find it at the library first. If we like the book enough, then we buy it for our home library.

When You Were Small  by Sara O'Leary (illustrated by Julie Morstad) is a lovely little treasure. Each night Henry has a chat with his father before bed, asking him what he was like when he was small. His father recalls "When you were small you used to have a pet ant and you would take him out for walks on a leash", and each spread tells another memory. He recalls how Henry would ride around in the pocket of his father's shirt... "Your little head would just stick out and your little hands would grip onto the edge of the cloth. Actually you ripped a lot of my shirts that way."

I love the understated design, with a different hand drawn letter starting each spread. The endpapers are sweet as well, showing a gallery of Henry when he was small (hanging from a balloon, peeking out of a teacup, etc.)

As I'm tucking my son C into bed, he now asks me what he was like when he was small. And we tell him how he once used a quarter for a frisbee, or how we lost him once amongst the bananas at the supermarket. Needless to say this book will be joining our library here at home.

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Reader Comments (16)

I love, love, love this book and I just received the newest one they did - I think the title is Where You Came From....it is just as lovely.

11.10.2008 | Unregistered Commenteraimee

Adorable! It'll be a while yet till I have children, but a good book is a good book - regardless of age.

11.10.2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Kellerhals

Your story and this book pull on my heart strings!

Thanks for the plug for the library.

11.10.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

I haven't seen this book. It looks wonderful I like the subtle colors. THanks for the share!

11.10.2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

i'm going to have to see if this is available tomorrow during our weekly trip to the library. i hope so - love the message.

i have the same philosophy as of late. i read recently a quote of a very well-read lady who never bought a book that she hadn't read before, just like she never bought a dress without trying it on. fit is a tricky thing, see, for books and clothing alike.

(love your blog - i can't remember how i found it, but i enjoy it very much.)

11.10.2008 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Such a great pick. Thanks for sharing!

I love Sara and Julie's books too - and you should definitely try to track down the follow-up, as mentioned by Aimee. I am really enjoying your blog, and I love the beautiful photos of books in the process of being read...

11.18.2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Being in that stage of life where the books of childhood are long forgotten and kids of my own are far ahead in the future, I need to rediscover the artistic beauty of children's books. This one is so sweet.

11.19.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLivy

Have you seen The Mole Sisters? I found them in our first grade classroom the other day and then got on Amazon, where you can find all of them...but i'm hoping to find them in a good ole fashioned book store. Anyhoo, they are as beautiful as they appear by the cover...

12.7.2008 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I love this one too. Have you read any of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's children's books? Those are faves around here. Love this weekly library post!

02.13.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

I had made a note of this book when I read your post last fall, then of course forgot about it. I finally ordered it last week and we are loving it. Marshall thinks it's hilarious and I just love the drawings. So cute. I love all your recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

03.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

we found this one at our library a few months ago and loved it too. i live for those moments when the unknown turns out to be oh so good.

happy to have found your site. i'm making my own list for our next trip to the library.

11.10.2009 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

Hello, Just stumbled upon this and wanted to say what a lovely post it is. How nice to think of this little story being part of anyone's bedtime routine and what an excellent idea a quarter for a frisbee is!

07.14.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

part of anyone's bedtime routine and what an excellent idea a quarter for a frisbee is!

05.29.2017 | Unregistered Commenterreal

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