In which Brianna introduces the readers to one of her family's favorite books for dealing with a common childhood anxiety. This article contains affiliate links. By using them you're helping to keep Busy Nest News running. Thanks for your continued support!
No Matter What, Debi Gliori
April is the Month of the Military Child. As the mother of a military child, I’d like to share one of our favorite books that helps us thrive in this lifestyle. The best part is, it’s a great book for any kiddo, whether they have a military parent or not. Lots of kids have worries about big things, but all that is required to sooth them is often gentle, steady reassurance. Debi Gliori’s No Matter What contains the simple, but important message that a good parent loves their child, even on a bad day.
No Matter What features two kangaroos, known only as Small and Large. Large discovers Small throwing a fit and knocking over furniture. When Large asks what’s wrong, Small replies that they’re “grim and grumpy” and worry that Large does not love them at all. Over the next several pages, the two progress through dinner time, bath time, and bedtime while Small questions the steadfastness of Large’s love. “If I was a grumpy grizzly bear, would you still love, would you still care?” Each test is met with a calm “Of course...I’d always love you, no matter what.” When Small has calmed down and is accepting that Large’s love will survive any tantrum, they have more questions. Can you fix love? When they’re separated, does the love go with Large, or does it stay with Small?
To a good parent, the answers to such questions might seem laughably obvious, but Small and Large do an excellent job of demonstrating how big these worries are to our littles, as well as how to respond. Watching Small change into different animals, while Large carries on with the evening routine is silly and fun. Monkey finds the rhyming (yes!) text soothing, even when recited without the book present. I love that by reading it, the parent is made to practice reassuring their little one with the right words and the right, calm tone.
When Monkey’s daddy is away, she makes me read this book more frequently. And when he gets back, she makes him read it. A great feature of this book is that all pronouns are left out. This allows Small and Large to be any combination of parent and child; a father and daughter is just as likely as a mother and son, or really any caregiver and a child. I don’t insist on gender neutrality for all of our books, but it’s nice when it shows up, especially in stories that feature a theme that would be significant to the child. It comes in several formats, including board book, which is always appreciated. Monkey and I give this wonderful book five eggs, and we certainly would recommend it to other military families, or any families that deal with littles’ anxieties.
Does your family have this books, or any of Gliori's other charming works? What do you read to help your littles with their big worries? Comment below.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
Let's keep in touch!