When Baby Gourmet Co-founder Jen Carlson was growing up her favorite children’s books growing up were from Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series and Professor Wormbog, which looking back, were books that were both fun and had great underlying messages about things like sharing, caring and cooperation. Jen’s kids, Finley and Eamon each have a number of beloved books and stories, but the ones that stand out most are The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman.
A rhyming, reimagining of a Chinese folk tale about a fox that borrows the terror of a tiger, The Gruffalo tells the story of a bold little mouse, strolling alone in the dark wood, coming face to face with predators of all kinds, but none as scary as the hungry Gruffalo. No match for the Gruffalo’s size, speed and power, the mouse uses a cunning ploy to turn the tables and secure the upper the hand. A fun, whimsical book for all ages, the Gruffalo is a modern classic.
Jen Says: This was Finley’s favorite book. She loved the different voices I used for each of the animals in the story. The mouse had a squeaky voice, the owl had a hooting voice, the snake had a slithering voice and on and on. I loved reading this book to her just as much as she loved my storytelling.
Based on the Yiddish folktale "Joseph's overcoat," this story is about a young boy named Joseph who doesn’t want to part with the beloved blanket his grandfather made him as a baby. After years of wear and tear the treasure is tattered and worn but somehow Joseph’s grandfather miraculously alters the blanket into useful items again and again, until finally, Joseph loses the last item prompting the question, can you turn nothing into something?
Jen Says: This was definitely Eamon’s favorite book. He loved to repeat the words which is probably why it stuck with him for so many years.