Friday, August 17, 2012

children's books for artsy families

Janssen of Everyday Reading is also a blog friend and a real life friend of mine AND Merrick's sister! (Does their family have the best names, or what?!). Janssen and I met years and years ago because her husband is good friends with my ex-husband. So even though things didn't shake out with my ex, me and Janssen's relationship is still going strong. Some things are just too good to end, ya know?

Because Janssen is a complete expert when it comes to books (with a degree to prove it and everything!), what better person to tell me what some of the best books are to read to Hero when she's just a little bit older. So take note! These are bound to be great reads.

P.S. I'm totally using some of our gift card money to buy...all of these. Thanks again, Janssen!


Children's Books for Artistic Families, or, Books I'd Give as a Gift To Sam's Child Without Hesitation

I love giving books as baby shower gifts or birthday gifts or just-because gifts. But you don't want to give something that they'll either get ten copies of (like Goodnight Moon), or something that will make their inner artist cringe every time their child picks it up.

Here are seven of my favorite picture books that I'd be completely confident in giving to parents with as much style as Sam and Chas have.

The House in the Night - If you want to give a bedtime story, but worry that Goodnight Moon is too obvious a choice, this is your book. Done in black and white scratchboard with golden accents, this is a perfect story to read before tucking a baby into bed. And then you'll probably have to take twenty minutes after the baby is sleeping to pore over the illustrations by yourself. Totally acceptable.

A Long Piece of String - This retro book (just now back in print after being published 50 years ago) has a piece of black string that stretches from the first page to the last, wrapping around a different object on each page. This book would be perfectly at home in your grandmother's collection, but you want it yours, I promise.

Pouch! - This sweet little book done in different mediums (marker, watercolor, etc) is such a fun little story about a nervous kangaroo just venturing out of his mama's pouch.

The Pencil - A pencil is just happily drawing an entire town, filled with people, food, houses, and trees, but then everyone starts complaining ("I don't like this hat!;" "My ears are too big!") and he has to draw an eraser to start fixing things. But then the feisty eraser takes on a life of its own.

Alphabeasties - Animals (in alphabetical order) made out of their letter in different fonts? It's such a brilliant idea and executed perfectly. I've never seen an adult or child not fall in love with this one.

Free Fall - No one makes more gorgeous books than David Wiesner and this one about a boy drifting off to sleep is one of his best. In each changing scene, you can see bits of his bedroom incorporated into his dreams, like his patchwork quilt becoming a life-size chess board. I notice something new every time I read it (which, when your child becomes fixated on a single book, is a good thing).

Where's Walrus? I love a wordless book because I can make it stretch as long as I'd like or I can whip through it 60 seconds. Walrus escapes from the zoo and hides with a different group of people on each page. The illustrations on this one are clean and modern and just make me happy.


Mimi said...

I love these selections! My favorite is Alphabeasties. It is simply the best little book. Especially if you are reading to an animal loving toddler.

Autumn said...

I'm loving this :) I love all books for children and adults. Thanks for sharing!

Kristina said...

Alphabeasties is so cute! Is it weird if I just buy it for myself? The people around me need to start having babies!!


Kristina does the Internets

candace said...

This is SO helpful. Yay for a new reason to get some more books for Rosie :)

candace said...

This is SO helpful. Yay for a new reason to get some more books for Rosie :)

Trish said...

So great!! We have an overflowing shelf of books (ok, so it's a basket on the floor right now) but none of these. Really looking forward to checking The House in the Night. (I come via Janssen's tweet)

Shauntelle said...

Thanks for the suggestions!