We believe a calling like mothering, which haphazardly blends the transcendent with the tedious, warrants a little extra oracular guidance (see The Deck) and a deep well of inspiration. On Friday, we invoke the muse of motherhood be she poet, artist, dancer, musician, thinker, or dreamer. Wishing you all an inspired weekend!

Oh, Wonder! Every single day since my daughter was born (3 years ago) has been filled with some ounce (or oceans-full) of wonder. It’s like she woke me up where I’d fallen asleep and I dove back into the wonder-world and found my kid-self. She pulls me down to the ground to say hello to a neon bug with wide open eyes, and she “demands” I bathe my whole body in the lilac bush. Not only is it an incredible gift to be her mama, but as a children’s book author and illustrator, it has been inspiring, eye-opening and educational! I’ve discovered countless new picture books (& authors + illustrators) and read these books aloud over and over. AND, I’ve experienced these books with her and through her. Of course, since I get to be the mama (with distinct ‘taste’ and passion for picture books), I get to hand choose the books. Hee. :)

So for this week’s inspiration, I’m sharing a *handful* of some of my/our favorite books, that are soulful and WONDER-filled, born no doubt, out of the authors’ and illustrators’ own wonder of the world and their subjects. I highly recommend you write these titles down and wander to the library (in wonder) with your child! NOTE: You can also order these books through your local bookstore or online, but I chose more interesting links so you can discover more about the books/authors/illustrators! Enjoy!!

Elizabeth’s post on Monday of Jordan’s and her dreamy night walk reminds me of one of our very faves, OWL MOON, by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by John Schoenherr. Every time, Tulsi shrieks when she sees the owl for the first time and then we both fall silent staring into the owl’s eyes “for one minute, three minutes, maybe even a hundred minutes.”

We discovered The Rainbow’s Journey: An Adventure in Asia created and photographed Gena Dawn and written by Brad Kane last year via their Kickstarter program — it’s a self-published gem!

The Little Red Fish by Taeeum Yoo. MAGICAL.

FLOTSAM by David Wiesner. Simply AWESOME.

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, Illustrated by Marla Frazee. Goosebumps on my heart and a beautiful dance of poetry and pictures!

ALL IN A DAY by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Nikki McClure — This book feels like my life! Plus, I LOVE Nikki McClure’s illustrations!!

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell. The wondrous world of Jane Goodall…and about manifesting your dreams!

(Of course, the list could go on, including the beloved Elsa Beskow’s books and more.)

*****

AND, I saved the best for last :)

A dear friend and neighbor (and toy maker) began spending time with Tulsi when I began illustrating The Mother’s Wisdom Deck to give me some focus time for my art. Their relationship blossomed into a treasure for them both. Connie created this book for her 3rd birthday, depicting Tulsi’s wonder with the world around her AND their time and heart connection with each other. These are just a few of the pages from this amazing, handmade book and “labor of love” by Connie. Plus, Tulsi loves to read it over and over.

“Tulsi wondered about how things change,
day and night,
hands and shadow,
egg into chick,
caterpillar into butterfly,
and seeds into veggies.”

— from Tulsi’s WONDER Book by Connie Long

I would love to hear some of your favorite ‘wonder’ themed books. Please post in the comments!