There's something comforting about seeing Julie Andrews's name on a new children's book. When my wife was a little girl, Mandy was one of her favorite books; her first edition still holds a special place on our bookshelf. Right beside it, The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles; one of the first read aloud books I read when I started teaching twenty-four years ago (after a recommendation by my principal and friend, Laura Penn Harmon). Next to it, Little Bo: The Story of Bonnie Boadicea one of my daughter's favorite childhood books. And her memoir is wonderful - Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (if you're a true fan).
Now I can hardly wait until Christmas Eve (we always give each other a book. We give our children three gifts - pajamas, an ornament, and a book - ala The Three Kings). This is the book I'm buying for my wife this year. In it, Julie Andrews (Edwards) and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton have selected a wonderful mix of poems, songs, and lullabies. An eclectic collection, from Robert Frost to Shel Silverstein... even Rodgers & Hammerstein! 150 pieces of poetry (with 21 on a CD performed by the authors). When I perused it, I immediately wrote it on my "must buy" list in my notebook... for my wife.
The best part - the family stories and connections to the poetry itself as well as the poetry Julie Andrews and her daughter wrote (and invited their family to contribute to). This is the perfect family book - one to tuck beside your favorite Julie Edwards book and pull out when your family needs something special to read ... together!