Happy Mommy Monday! Today I want to talk to you about one of my favorite things in the whole world… Children’s Books. For those of you that don’t know, my day job is as a Children’s Book Publicist (You can read my A Day in the Life of a Children’s Book Publicist post here.) I’ve been working in the book business for 15 years (yes I was a baby when I started) and have been working as a Children’s Book Publicist for 6 years. Because I know my stuff when it comes to books, it has opened up the door for me to do some children’s book reviews for other sites. I LOVE doing freelance writing and always get such a thrill when I see my writing somewhere other than here.
Books are a daily part of life for Bean and Turtle. Nothing thrills me more than walking into the playroom, seeing the kids with a big pile of books and witnessing Bean reading stories (aka creating stories) to her little brother.
I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have books show up at their door on a weekly basis, and that books can be a splurge (what a wonderful splurge they are). So I thought that I would share with you 5 recent beautifully designed picture books that I love and recommend you put on your “Must Buy” list or check out at your local library. These books stand out not only because they are beautifully designed picture books, but also because the story is so great.
With it’s extra tall format and incredibly detailed illustrations, The Bear’s Song by French author and illustrator Benjamin Chaud is my favorite book of the season. Father Bear thinks that he and baby bear are settling down to hibernate for the winter but when he awakes Baby Bear has set off for the city following a bumble bee. Father Bear sets off to find Baby Bear. Each spread in the book has Baby Bear and a bumble bee hidden in it.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown is the book that I was anticipating the most this season. The moment I saw that Peter Brown had a new book coming out, I knew that I HAD TO HAVE IT!!! Peter Brown could doodle on a napkin in a restaurant and I would want it. I find his books so aesthetically pleasing and lucky for me Bean loves them too. Mr. Tiger is tired of all of the animals living such a prim and proper life. He want to go… WILD! He sheds his clothing, starts walking on all fours and disappears into the jungle. Will his friends be able to accept the new wild Mr. Tiger?
Which Way Back by Michael Mayes, illustrated by Rory O’Sullivan stars the characters Chip, Inkie and Luna made famous in a series of shorts by children’s broadcaster Knowledge Kids. I love watching the animation of Chip, Inkie and Luna on TV but have always thought it would be fun for them to have their own full length TV show. Instead, they now have their own book, which is even better. Which Way Back tells the story of adorable Chip, Inkie and Luna getting lost in the woods and then using teamwork to find their way home. So cute.
Oliver Jeffers is another one of my favorite children’s book illustrators so I was delighted when I found out that he had illustrated The Day The Crayons Quit which is written by Drew Daywalt. Not only does this book have an adorable premise (a box of crayons decide they’ve had enough and write their owner a series of letters about why they can no longer continue on being his crayons) but the layout is also equally fabulous. Each page has a handwritten letter from a crayon along with a childlike drawing featuring that color. Heather Reisman the CEO of Chapters & Indigo has this as a Heather’s Pick right now and I couldn’t agree more. It is fabulous.
Once Upon A Memory by Nina Laden, illustrated by Renata Liwksa arrived at my door last week and immediately captured my heart. The illustrations in the book are small, whimsical vignettes that don’t fill the entire page. Something about them brings me right back to my childhood and makes me feel at home. The story itself is absolute perfection in it’s minimalism. You can tell that each word was carefully selected. “Does night remember it once was… day?” “Does a feather remember it once was… a bird?” “Does an ocean remember it once was… rain?” Each spread would be a perfect launching point for a deeper conversation with your child. I would love to hear if this book captures your heart the way it has mine.
So there they are, 5 of my favorite books to have landed on my doorstep over the past few months. What do you think?
Tell me… What are your favorite picture books for kids? What kind of books do you children enjoy? Do you like children’s books as much as your little ones do?