Think it has something to do with my history... in a past life I was a speech pathologist, specialising in working with children, and kids' books were my favourite tool of the trade. So I have started my kids' book collection already. Usually, I am immediately sucked right in by a good illustrator, but if the narrative is terrible, the love affair doesn't last long.
So, I was catching up on one of my favourite all time blogs today - book by its cover ... if you love books you must visit this site! - and thought perhaps this was my opportunity to do a bit of a show and tell, too.
Here are some of my favourites:
Henry and Amy is sooo delightful and is probably one of my favourite books, for kids or for adults, of all time. It is essentially a book that suggests that it is absolutely ok to be different, and that our differences sometimes come together to create something truly wonderful (like Henry and Amy's amazing friendship). Everytime I read this I get teary at the page "and together they learnt how to fly". [sigh] This is a beautiful book. Oh! And the illustrations are gorgeous, and so much fun to look at with kids who really get a kick out of all of the squiggly details.
Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is a gorgeous and fun book. I actually keep this one on my desk at work for when I am having a less than fabulous day, to remind myself that I have the choice tomorrow to start again, fresh from all of the stuff of today. It is also a fabulous book for those of us who are really not morning people. Probably my favourite part is the very beginning ... "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." Gorgeously written and simply illustrated in black and white, I love this book.This one is not a complicated book at all, but is another one I have on my desk at work. The message is essentially what you would expect... "it's all okay" (and in the background there are some messages perhaps about tolerance and openness). Kids love the illustrations (some seven year old girls I used to work with would just laugh themselves silly when we got to the picture with the girl who has a fish in her hair), I don't know that I am that fussed, but the colours are great, and this is probably not (in my opinion) destined to be a great classic or anything else, it is just a nice, easy, good book, that can be enjoyed.
The Boy and the Tree (1978) is a lovely collection of translated Yiddish poetry. Stunning illustrations by Victor Pivovarov, which are a bit dream-like (sorry, have a science and linguistics background, so can't use any art terms here!). But just lovely. And the poetry is so lovely to read out loud, beautiful rhythms and sounds. I wish you luck finding this one, I managed to pick it up thrifting (one of my best opshop purchases ever), but it could be tricky to get your hands on. It is, though, well worth the effort!
Other fun books to read aloud include Wombat Stew - "wombat stew, wombat stew, ooey gooey munchy chewy wombat stew" and of course Peepo. I have just bought Peepo this past month for our new arrival-in-waiting.
So many fantastic kids' books, so few posts on this blog! (so far...)
Now, time to share and delurk... which children's books are your favourites?