It’s been a rough week. We’ve all had colds, and Sweetpea’s had croup, and yet the winnowing and packing for the big move can’t wait. Our paper shredder has overheated half a dozen times this weekend alone, and although the attic is finally more-or-less clear, we hardly dare think about what awaits us in the cellar. David and I wander the house in a daze once Sweetpea’s asleep, mumbling to ourselves about visas and freight costs and realtors.

So comfort food’s been on the menu. And comfort music. And comfort books, of course.

I’ve always gotten such deep pleasure and reassurance from books. But what’s made me especially happy this week is seeing how books comfort my daughter. Arnold Lobel’s been a big help to us this week (not just with Frog and Toad, but with Small Pig, and The Frogs and Toads All Sang). Millions of Cats is a reliable winner, too, even after a long morning of coughing. And thanks to lovely Molly O’Neill, editor at HarperCollins, we have a brand-new animal book that’s made Sweetpea very happy: the gorgeous and clever My Heart Is Like a Zoo, by Michael Hall.

Picture us gazing at a lion made of hearts, laughing at Toad in his bathing suit, and hoarsely but enthusiastically chanting, “Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats….”

And picture Sweetpea smiling.

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