Sadly, this isn’t the post where I tell you about our awesome Hawaii vacation (that won’t be happening again for awhile!) I am going to tell you about a great little sing along book though!

Anyone struggling with their postpartum mental health will tell you, the most innocent things can be what set you off for another trip down depression drive or anxiety avenue. Even a simple lullaby can be enough.

Recently I found myself humming “Five Little Ducks Went Swimming” to my son as I put him to bed. You know it… the ducklings “go over the hill” and then don’t come back. It’s silly, but it really gets to me. I instantly start judging this mother duck! How stupid IS this mother duck, that she keeps letting baby after baby swim far off? And don’t get me started on the Little Baby Bum video. That “Sad Mother Duck” face actually make me a little ragey. Once I start the song, I have to finish it right up to the last verse (verse six, for those counting), where “all the little ducks came back.” Otherwise I somehow feel left in this sad state of limbo.

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The short of it is, I cannot stand depressing lullabies. And one of the worst is Rock a Bye Baby. There are various theories for the meaning of the song, but it sounds like you are singing about a baby falling out of a tree (and maybe dying!?).  It’s morbid. I see enough real tragedies about children dying in awful ways by just scrolling through my Facebook feed. I don’t need to sing about it too!

That’s enough ranting. Now for the good part. There is this absolutely delightful book called Rock-a-Bye Baby in Hawaii, which you can find on your next trip to Hawaii or on Amazon. I have to thank my mother-in-law for bringing it back for us. Illustrations are by the talented Alvina Kwong  with charming lyrics by Luke Trimble, and it was published by BeachHouse Publishing, LLC in 2015.

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It has become my daughter’s favourite book. Almost every day she asks for “Rock a Baby” to be read (sung) to her, and she can point out all the birds, fish, turtles, whales, crabs (her favourite!) and more that make up the beautiful images and gentle lyrics. I’m probably going to have to buy another copy just to have a backup for when she inevitably wears the current copy out. The song is all about snuggles, cuddles and sunshine kisses, with the baby staying safe and sound “down at the beach” while hearing “the waves breaking just out of reach.”

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It’s now my go-to lullaby even without the book (though my daughter knows the lyrics better than me, and she certainly doesn’t shy away from correcting me when I get the verses out of order).

Though if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that this book is downright depressing, as it creates that perfect picture of a care-free day by the sea, and makes him long to be back in Hawaii!

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Purchase this book or others by Alvina Kwong on


What are your favourite sing along books to read to your children?