Savannah Guthrie is already encouraging her kids to think outside the box.
Posing with son Charles “Charley” Max, 10 months Sunday, and daughter Vale, 3, for the cover of Parents magazine’s November issue, the Today show co-anchor and author of Princesses Wear Pants talked about the importance of supporting her children’s creativity.
One method the newly minted children’s book author uses? Introducing imagined characters into her daughter’s life, like the Big Red Heart Balloon.
“Vale will be looking out the window and say, ‘Mommy, look! It’s the Big Red Heart Balloon!’ ” says Guthrie, 45. “She
has a vivid imagination, and it comes from storytelling.”
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The message behind her new book — whose cover doesn’t skimp on the color pink — “is that you can be a princess and a doer and a girl of substance,” the mother of two tells Parents.
Aside from reading from favorite books, Guthrie and husband Michael Feldman have begun telling Vale true, simple stories about things they did recently, like going to the park or doctor or dentist.
“I’m trying to bore her to sleep!” she jokes, adding that Vale — who “reads” to little brother Charley now — is extremely adept at recalling details from the true stories and doesn’t hesitate to correct her mom if Guthrie tells it in a different way later.
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Guthrie says her own reactions to certain beloved stories — The Giving Tree, for example — have inspired her as an adult in different ways than they did as a child.
“I remember very well loving that book,” she says. “But then I read it once Vale came along, and I had such a different reaction to it.”
“I loved it as a little girl, and as an adult I found it so sad,” Guthrie adds, explaining, “As a kid, you identify with the child who has a tree giving everything to him. And as an adult, you identify with the tree.”