While I enjoy reading silly stories to my kids and I love hearing them laugh out loud at some of the ridiculous tall tales we’ve discovered together, there is something extra special about the cuddles that come with reading sweet, lasting books together. Sam McBratney, author of the deservedly famous Guess How Much I Love You, has given us one of those memory-making stories in his delightful picture book Just You and Me. As in his greatly loved rabbit book, here we have a duo of father and child expressing their love for one another in a gentle fashion that makes my own children curl up close to my side when reading it.
Big Gander Goose and Little Goosey are out for a lovely walk together when they notice storm clouds appearing, so their stroll becomes a search for a safe place to hide from the coming storm. Each place they find already houses another forest creature, and sweet Little Goosey asks Big Gander Goose if they can look for another place for just the two of them. Finally, they find a place that’s just right for them, only to discover that all the animals they’d met along the way decide to join them right as the storm begins. When clear skies return, the geese set out once more on their walk, just the two of them alone together.
With four small children in our family, finding time to spend one-on-one with each of them can require some creativity and a bit of a seize-the-moment attitude. But reading Just You and Me with one child while the others are playing elsewhere, or sleeping a bit later, or busy with a puzzle or game, can instantly create a tender intimacy between us and offer ten precious minutes of “just us” time. I highly recommend this sweet picture book to any family with young children. I’m quite certain it will soon boast a home on your shelf of favorites, as it does on ours.