How We Can Fulfill Anna Dewdney’s Last Request

How We Can Fulfill Anna Dewdney's Last Request | Houston Moms Blog

As little Llama tries to keep it all together on his first day of school, the storm clouds burst and suddenly,

It’s too much for little Llama . . . Llama Llama MISSES MAMA!

Llama Llama Nighty-Night by Anna Dewdney was a classic for my firstborn, and Llama Llama Time To Share is one of our favorite books we’ve been gifted. I knew that my little guys might have some trouble adjusting to preschool and needed some backup to get us going, so I grabbed Llama Llama Misses Mama from the library shelves as summer winded down.

And well, a few pages in, I was the one tearing up reading Dewdney’s gentle rhymes. My heart grew heavy knowing my kids would experience the same feelings that Llama Llama had within those pages. But Llama’s big emotions aren’t just sad. Indeed the preschool teacher reminds kids {and mommas!}…

Don’t be sad new little Llama! It’s OK to miss your mama. But don’t forget — when day is through, she will come right back to you.

In such simple, relatable, tangible words, this children’s author and illustrator reaches to the hearts of preschool kids and mamas in empathy, encouragement, and comfort. And that’s what so many people love about Anna Dewdney’s stories. I was heartbroken to hear that she lost her 15-month battle with cancer this past weekend at age 50. In the true fashion of someone passionate about kids, passionate about literacy, and passionate about making a difference, Anna Dewdney asked that instead of a funeral, fans read a book to a child.

Today our team wants to celebrate the impact Dewdney and her sweet llama family has had on our lives by sharing snippets and stories from our hearts. Little Llama and Mama Llama have made us laugh, helped us celebrate, taught us valuable lessons, and given our children opportunities to fall in love with reading, and for those things, we say, “Thank you!”


Llama Llama Time to Share is a fan favorite over here. I enjoy reading to my kids. It’s something I deeply cherish as the love for it was gifted to me by my own mother. I can still hear her voice as she made books come alive, and only wish she was here to share her love of books and reading with my kids. When I read the news of Anna Dewdney’s passing and request of “just read to a child,” I was instantly connected to her beyond the love for her delightful series of books. As a teacher I can’t tell you the amount of times I heard my mother say, “Don’t forget to read to them!” to anyone and everyone that would listen.


I love that when we read this series, my little guy can’t quite pronounce his “l’s” yet and calls it “Yama Yama.”


Llama Llama Red Pajama :: I received this book at my first shower with the twins. My best friend knew I was obsessed with books, so she decided to surprise me with a book basket instead of cards. That book came from one of my friends who had supported me through the entire infertility journey. Every time I open that book, I see her inscription, and it’s a reminder of God’s promises, as cheesy as that may sound.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama :: One of our family friends gifted us this book. I had a REALLY hard day with the twins; they were maybe 12-15 months hold {who remembers anymore!}, but it was just one of those days where I wanted to run away at worst, or hide in the pantry and eat chocolate at best. Matt came home from work and decided to pull the new book off the shelf, and it was THAT one. After a totally crappy day, the last thing I wanted to hear from the other room was Little Llama is Mad at Momma. Come on! Safe to say, Matt never read that book again. Not sure he even got dinner that night.


As we both lay there in bed with a box of tissues on one side and a pile of snotty ones on the other, we giggle. “Soggy tissues, gobs of guck. Sniffing, snorting, sneezing, yuck!” We may all have the sniffles and the sneezes, but we also have some books to get us through it. The Llama Llama books have always been a favorite in our house, especially when one of us is under the weather. And Llama always reminds us it’s important to rest.


Llama Llama Mad at Mama was the first book my daughter read from memory when she was about two and a half. The lines “Crash the cart and smash the signs. No more waiting! No more lines!” really resonated with her; I will never forget how she read those words with such passion. Anna Dewdney had a gift for covering topics to which children could emotionally relate. She will be greatly missed.


Mom Confession :: While most of the time I can’t remember what day it is or to bring my son’s nap stuff to school, I have at a minimum 3 of his favorite books memorized at any given time. It all started with Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom and Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop. I used to catch myself reciting them in the shower. I can still picture my sweet little 18-month-old acting out Llama Llama hop, Llama Llama jump with such excitement because he knew all the words too. From that moment on … we were huge Llama Llama fans.

Today we have moved on to Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Llama Llama Time to Share. Something about these stories involving little llama and his mama really resonates with my sweet boy. He often refers to himself as Llama and tells me I am Mama Llama. We don’t purposely avoid stories with traditional families, but alas, as a single mama household, we both naturally gravitated to these sweet stories. One day I will have the patience of that wonderful mama llama. One day.

So let’s keep the spirit behind the Llama Llama books alive! Let’s cook with books! And give the gift of books! And read bedtime books, and books about families, and library books.  And let’s celebrate what a community of readers Anna Dewdney has created in this generation.What about you? Does your family have a Llama Llama story? Let us know in the comments below, and tonight, let’s read an extra book to our own tiny readers.

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Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.


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