1. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Sure, there’s the kinda creepy, “Mother repeatedly breaks into her grown son’s house in the middle of the night to rock him to sleep,” thing going on here, but I can hardly even think about this book without crying. The tears typically start when the man comes home from visiting his mother, reaches the top of the stairs and waits a moment before going to his daughter…and there’s the grown cat at the top of the stairs and just…agh. We had this book when I was a kid but my mom rarely read it to me, and now I know why. Someday is the less creepy version of this.
2. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. “He never knew it really was his own bunny, come to look at the child who had first helped him become Real.” Need I say more?
3. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein. I think we all know where this one is going. This is a lyrical, beautifully-illustrated story about Phillipe Petit, the man who walked between the Twin Towers on a tightrope one morning in 1974. And at the very end: “Now the towers are gone. But in memory, as if imprinted on the sky, the towers are still there.” It’s so quietly sad and accepting. Simone’s still a little young for this one, but I think it will be a wonderful way to broach the topic of September 11th when the time comes.
4. Tom’s Tree by Gillian Shields. This whimsical book follows a little boy named Tom as he plants a tree from seed. He waits and waits for it to grow into a magical tree, complete with singing peacocks and golden leaves and other childhood fantasies. The tree grows slowly, as trees do, and Tom grows up and leaves home. After many years, Tom returns to his tree with his own son on his shoulders. The tree has grown in his absence and his young son sees the peacocks, the golden leaves, and everything Tom had hoped for when he was a child.
5. Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough. This book is a little silly, a little sad, and very sweet. Sid is a dog who can fly when he’s very happy, but none of the other dogs at school believe him…they think he’s imagining things. “Do dogs fly? Is it true?” Well, you’ll just have to read it.