We love Llama Llama

I have planned to write many a post on our love of board books, picture books, and reading to my littles in general (since I'm not doing a great job of hitting the Librarian part of my blog) and now felt like it needed to be the day.  As I was reading through work stuff this week, I came across the obituary of our favorite book series author, Anna Dewdney.

It would surprise no one that we own every single Llama Llama book, including two different copies of Llama Llama Red Pajama (hardback and board book), and both the stuffed animals of Llama Llama and Nellie Gnu. Our used copy of LLRP is taped together from years of nighttime reading with X, which is why I asked for a board book copy when S was born.   I love it so much, I broke my normal rule of no one borrows our books, and loaned all the Llama books we had at the time (and our stuffed Llama) to X's preschool his first year, so that they wouldn't be constrained by library due dates.

I have fond memories of reading Llama with X but this year I've fallen farther in love with the series.

The first few nights A spent with us, we tried our best to make her comfortable and settle into our routine.  I don't know if she found Llama in our book bucket or if I grabbed it off the shelf. All I know is that one reading changed everything.  I didn't realize she loved books so much.  I didn't realize that THIS BOOK, at the beginning of our relationship, would set the stage and hit home more than anything I could have told her. ... (and now I shake my head because, well duh....)

I just love the book and jumped right in reading it the same way I read to X every time.  Mama "kisses Baby's hair". We whisper, whine, moan, and then scream for mama.  We stomp and pout.  We wiggle our pointer finger when mama scolds "Baby Llama, what a tizzy. Sometimes Mama's very busy....  Little Llama don't you know, Mama Llama loves you so... Mama Llama's always near, even if she's not right here."

Then she asked me to read it again.  The next night we read it again only this time she moved her head closer for each of the times it gets kissed.  She hollered for mama and pointed to the phone and the dishes.  She wiggled her finger and said "tizzy".

Now she asks for Llama every night. Sometimes she grabs one of the board books. Sometimes she asks for "Llama Grandma Grandpa". Sometimes we pick something else.  ;)

The words of Llama Llama Nighty Night have also made their way into other parts of our daily routine. "Brush the teeth and comb the hair." (She says it without "the").  I add: "find some nice, clean clothes to wear." 

I giggle at X's response to our current nightly readings of Llama because while he seems irritated that she chooses a Llama book [insert whiny 6-year-old voice here] "every time", when he was two (and three and four), we also read it every night. He has it memorized, just like I do.  The only difference is now he can read the words on the page... and he pretends he hates it when I try to kiss "baby's hair".

[As I'm writing this, remembering bits and pieces of our life with Llama Llama, I flashed back to our first trip to California when X was almost two.  We went to the San Diego zoo and saw a llama.  X made a crazy dance and stuck his butt in the air just like the llama. He was amazed to see a real Llama Llama.]

This mama and her llamas are sad that this fall's release of Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum will (most likely) be the last new Llama Llama in our house.  But we are happy to hear that Netflix is creating a series based on our favorite Llama.

I love that the author's last request was for people to read to a child.  My passion is reading and my philosophy is to fill our house with books and read whatever we choose.  So thank you, Anna Dewdney, for our favorite books.


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