by Thornton Burgess, first published 1911
(Also known as “Mother West Wind “Why” Stories“)
“Danny Meadow Mouse sat in his doorway and looked down the Lone Little Path across the Green Meadows. Way, way over near the Smiling Pool he could see Old Mother West Wind’s Children, the Merry Little Breezes, at play.”
Here’s a must-have children’s book for Waldorf parents of young children (3 to 5). (I say Waldorf parents because it definitely has the kind of sweetness and simplicity that perhaps is not all that valued in our modern times.) Perfect short bed-time stories, this classic collection has so much heart as it unfolds little stories about why the mouse has a short tale, or why the chipmunk has pockets in his cheeks. The stories in this children’s book, which has been re-issued several times, all follow the same formula – a curiosity, and an explanation, usually by Old Frog. The characters are the same in each story. This kind of repetition creates a magical feeling for the young child, who begins to befriend each character as they appear.
I particularly love the refrain, “You can’t fool Mother Nature” which occurs in many of the stories. Mother Nature becomes personified, full of both justice and compassion, kindness and sternness.
This classic children’s book is best for ages 3 to maybe 6. After that, I think it would possibly be too babyish. The collection is the second of several books by Burgess, and I imagine the others are quite similar to this. If you like old fashioned nature stories for your young ones, this children’s book is perfect.