09 April, 2008

books for kids... hooray!

Okay, I am not meaning to turn this blog into an account of my pregnancy or the upcoming birth of our first born (and there are some serious crafting questions and show and tell items once I can get some good photos), BUT, I am soooo excited about having another excuse to buy children's books at the moment!

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?



SadieandLance said...

Where the Wild Things Are. But that's everyone's fav!

Anonymous said...

I found another one that has taken pride of place at the moment - The Library Lion - Michelle Knudsen - delightful illustrations and great read aloud text... It is all about breaking the rules... I just love it!!!! Another great book about differences is Giants - Mij Kelly...

Sharon - Angus & Robertson Box Hill
(soon to be Sharon - Dymocks Doncaster)

Linny T said...

Anything by Mem Fox - Shoes from Grandpa in particular, see (http://www.memfox.com/welcome.html) and I adore Hairy Maclary (from Donaldson's Dairy) by Lynley Dodd. Also, other favs are Guess How Much I Love You and Good Night Me.
Hope you are doing well!

hilde said...

I'm a children book collector too, I can't resist buying some when I enter the bookshop. But my alltime favourite is: 'The selfish Giant' from Oscar Wilde. (Of course I don't have it in english, I have a dutch translation) But even after 30years, I have to CRY whenever I read it, you really should look it up and perhaps buy it somewhere, tooo beautiful for words!!

emma said...

Some of my great faves here.
I adore Peepo (one of my absolute faves when the babes were tiny) and just about everything else written by Alan Ahlberg, The Man Who Loved Boxes by Stephen Michael King, Dr Xargles Book Of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross, Not A Nibble by Elizabeth Honey, The Story Of Bob (the man in the moon), Big Mama Makes The World and What Baby Wants by Phyllis Root.
There are too many! I don't feel compelled to buy them for the kids anymore..but I do have a treasured collection of signed books illustrated by Shaun Tan, just for me.

summer pickles said...

oooh, Emma, I am with you... I love The Man who Loved Boxes as well! Sorry I didn't email you to respond to your comment... couldn't find your email address! x


to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!