Cloud had a post last week about souvenirs from trips, so I thought I'd write about my favorite purchase on our recent trip to Ireland. We made a conscious decision not to buy random souvenirs, so all we bought was one Christmas ornament (a miniature watercolor of the pub we liked to go to), a pair of lovely handknit wool socks for me, and a book for Trillian called Owl Babies.
I forgot to pack a selection of books for T to read while we were at the vacation house. I had a few specifically for the plane rides, but they were activity books rather than stories. So we headed out to the teeny tiny bookstore in Kenmare.
We spotted Owl Babies right away thanks to its gorgeous illustrations. I'm usually a fan of more cartoony-style kids books, but the artwork on the cover was really striking and T quickly latched on to it.
We took it home and read it for bedtime that night, and many nights thereafter. It's such a sweet story - three baby owl siblings wake up to find their mama is gone, and they worry together until her return. The text is simple and repetitive, perfect for toddlers.
I worried that it might be too much for my sensitive girl - she cries when book characters get into difficult situations or make scary faces - we still haven't made it through Slide Already! because of the faces. But the tension is resolved in this book fairly quickly so she's ok with it.
In fact, T had memorized nearly all of it by the time we left Ireland, so I entertained myself by letting her "read" most of it to me - I'd supply the first few words on the page and let her recite the rest. OMG the cuteness - I should have recorded it. Now that we're home and there are more books in the rotation, I think she's forgotten a lot of it.
I wasn't sure if there was an Ireland connection here, but it turns out the author Martin Waddell is from Northern Ireland, so it really is a souvenir in the traditional sense!
If you're looking for a baby or toddler gift and don't want to give the old standbys for fear of duplicates, this is a great choice. Or, if you need a good, mellow bedtime story for your own owl babies, I recommend it as well!
My only regret is that she doesn't let me read it to her as often as I'd like. She's probably sick of hearing it every night. Next time I'll remember to pack more books for her!