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Top 10 Little Books

Beatrix Potter knew what she was doing as she created the world of Peter Rabbit. When she turned down initial publisher’s offers (due to their requests to modify her books in length and size), she went ahead and self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit on her own at first, because she had a very specific vision for her work. Namely, she wanted her books to be small enough to fit in a small child’s hands… and her illustrations were designed to fill the page of one small book.

To this day, while there are many compilations and anthologies of the Peter Rabbit series, nothing… NOTHING compares to the magic of the small, hardback set of single, independent, tiny volumes. If your home library of picture books consists of nothing other than this set, you’ll be leagues ahead of 90% of your parenting peers in the sheer quality of what you’re offering.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the awesomeness of tiny books in general. What child doesn’t love miniature things designed just for their size? Especially when the miniatures are real, be it functional tea cups, utensils, brooms, aprons etc. So it is with books. There is something special about volumes published under 7 inches tall. And the only thing I love more than reading tiny books to my children, is seeing my young ones sprawled out in the grass on their own with a little book of their own fitting so nicely in their little hands.

Little books pack into diaper bags well, fit into stockings, Easter baskets and everyday baskets, and make fantastic little bonus gifts to accompany other items.  Here is my pick of the 10 best little books on the market today:

 The Peter Rabbit books. Of course. Just go ahead and throw all 23 titles into one listing here. Each is excellent.

 The Story of Little Black Sambo. Okay, so all the modern parents prefer The Story of Little Babaji (also on the small side) because it is more PC, but I love the original myself. I have both books and my children like both equally but I have a nostalgic spot for the old one because my mother read it to me so many times…

 The Nutshell Library by Maurice Sendak. Alligators All Around is the standout book in this 4-volume set but they are so well priced as a collection, I’d go ahead and purchase the others with that title.

 Pelle’s New Suit (mini edition). I normally prefer my full-sized Elsa Beskow books, but this one in particular works as a mini because it doesn’t have as much text as most of her other titles.  For that, and the fact that it is the perfect springtime book, it’s on the list.

 A Hole Is to Dig is perhaps my very favorite “nonsensically profound” books (I made that category up; nice eh?). From the silly to the thought provoking, Ruth Krauss found magic in pairing with Sendak on this title.  The hardback is out of print, but worth finding…

 A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog is the first in the series and my favorite Mercer Mayer books by far. They are wordless but tell a lovely story… don’t forget the equally excellent sequels Frog Goes to Dinner,  Frog, Where Are You? and others.

 The Brave Cowboy. My three year old fell in love with the Brave Cowboy when he first met him and it’s still one of his favorite books to call his own and to be found curled up with in a corner somewhere. That’s enough to merit a spot on this list.

 Alphabet of Boats. Linocuts. Boats. Education. Beauty. Simplicity. All under 5 square inches.  I can’t help that so many of the books I love are out of print— sorry!  Just keep your eyes peeled for this little gem.  (Which reminds me… I’ve seen enough good stuff now to warrant “Volume 3” version of Top Ten Alphabet books… hmm, will attend to that soon hopefully.)

 Let’s Be Enemies. Sendak illustrating again!  He excelled at the tiny books. Janice May Undry created a lovely little tale of making and breaking friendships. It’s very fun to read with a 5 year old…

 The Little Train… or really, any Lois Lenski books. All are small. My favorite ones are his seasonal books which are a bit spendy OOP, but any of his occupational books like this one or Policeman Small or The Little Airplane, etc are vintage winners as well.

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And now, some qualifying remarks:


I would’ve included the gorgeous Flower Fairies Alphabet, but I’m mad that they skipped the letter X. You can cheat a little or work around it… but don’t skip the letter altogether!


Also, these are slightly larger than ‘tiny’, but of immense importance in the picture book collector’s world: The Year in Brambly Hedge Set and Adventures in Brambly Hedge Set. Unfortunately these books are long out of print but they are really wonderful to own and cherish… in the same botanical goodness vein as one would find the Beatrix Potter books.


And lastly, I’ve requested an inter-library loan to get my eyes on The Treehorn Trilogy. It looks fabulous. Edward Gorey is not everyone’s cup of pictorial tea but I like him and am eager to see these books!

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Easter Basket Board Books…

Eloise Wilkins. Garth Williams. Tibor Gergely. The Provensens. These are the names of some of the best illustrators in Golden Books history.  Some of the old Golden Books are superb. And publishers are now waking up to the fact that we MISS those books, so they are slowly bringing back into print some of the nostalgic pieces of yesteryear. We are happy.

What is even happier is when the Golden Books upgrade from their fairly fragile spines to the sturdiness of board books! Here is a list of some of these board books that are the best of that grouping… the ones that are readily available to arrive in prompt shipping style for a certain upcoming holiday (other little treasures can, of course, be found and patiently waited for from third party sellers…)

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Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the Natural World, and a Giveaway!


“How many ways do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

The find of the year (so far) for me is this piece of glory from Julia Rothman called Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World.  The entire thing is the what makes me love to homeschool (and I needed a new boost in loving that lately).  The book is fabulous, and everything one could wish for in a “textbook.”

First, it’s chock full of interesting facts covering various areas of geology, botany, biology, meteorology and astronomy.  In being such a broad book, do we turn up our noses claiming it can’t offer depth in any one area? Sure. You may look down if you like. But what it DOES offer is so beautifully presented and academically enriching that you’d be missing something great by choosing a dry science book over this one.

And then there are the illustrations. Folksy, detailed, handwoven with love and care and interest.  My goodness, I’m in love!

This author is the same one who brought us Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life a few years ago. It had raving reviews but it was brand new to me this year.  I figured that I didn’t have a whole heckuva lot of interest in farm life on a technical scale so what would I get out of it?!  Little did I know that I’d lovingly turn each page in this too, admiring the art and the information each page provided.

Both books would be phenomenal springboards for deeper studies into any one area.  Nature Anatomy especially is such a breath of fresh air in this home.

I have the highly lauded (in Charlotte Mason circles anyway) Handbook of Nature Study and while the information in that is excellent, the photos are in greyscale and limited by their time period. And much to my ever-burning shame, it doesn’t get used nearly so much as I had planned. I’d like to think of this new Nature Anatomy filling in the gap in some way as being something fresh, useful, beautiful and worthy to include in our morning basket studies a few times a week. A must have in my opinion… you can virtually browse through it here.

I’m so in love with this book that I’m going to send it to one lucky person during this upcoming Easter season. I don’t know how I’ll choose a winner, but it’ll be non-scientifically random of course. If you have read through this post and are interested in receiving the book, just post a comment about something, anything, I don’t care— by Divine Mercy Sunday.  That day is my birthday and it would give me great delight to share the gift of this book with someone!

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Brother Hugo and the Bear for Lent!


For Valentine’s Day this year, I gifted each of my children a “one free book” coupon and they got to select ANY book they wanted to have shipped to them (all second hand “Like New” copies, to keep it cost effective and I retained veto powers of course…)  With just a hint of guidance, my three year old saw the picture of Brother Hugo and the Bear and declared proudly that it was to be his choice. Yes!

The book came and immediately I fell in love with it. It is a story imagined by Katy Beebe from one tiny little line in a real, historical letter that comments this:

“And send to us, if you please, the great volume of letters by the holy father Augustine, which contains his letters to Saint Jerome, and Saint Jerome’s to him. For it happens that the greater part of our volume was eaten by a bear.”


The book is not Catholic per se. But it is decidedly real and fresh in the dealings with 100% of the characters being monks (except the bear) and the work they do being authentic to that time period.  It opens up, fittingly on Lent as poor Brother Hugo has to recopy the entire manuscript he lost… which makes for a proper seasonal penance. Illustrations are exceptionally well done by Steve Schindler for the book and the illuminated lettering mimics the style (in a nouveaux way) of the medieval masters. 

The book would be a great unit study builder for all things medieval… especially cloistered life, illuminated letters, manuscript making and the 12th century in general. I am going to pair it with a viewing of that oddly strange and beautiful period movie: The Secret of Kells. If I was really motivated, I’d figure out some sort of illuminated letter lesson but I’m pretty sure all our markers are currently lost in heater return vents or chewed up by the puppy. So that may need to wait…  

All in all, I’m delighted to have this book and use it as Lenten reading (not in a pious way, but at least in a relevant, fun way) and highly recommend it to those who are interested in bringing the Middle Aged, monastic life alive for their children. Probably my best picture book purchase in a long time…

Check out this hypnotic video showing the start to finish illustrations, set to chant… 

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Subtlety and Christmas Mice

I can’t tell you how many books there are out there that forget what I think is the point of a picture book: to engage a child’s imagination in a beautiful way.  I suppose the logic is that if you put some colorful characters on paper, a child will be more receptive to the “message” that the author wants to get across.  The effect of this is thousands of well-meaning but poorly executed books on manners, virtues, going to the doctor, anger therapy, and yes even (maybe especially!) religion.

I always find it such a joy to discover a book where the “message” may be there, but it is so artfully made that the story is engaging enough without having to convince children to pick it up and read it.  The message may be obvious as in the exquisite What Do You Say, Dear? and What Do You Do, Dear? books… where manners are taught but in such an unexpected and fun way that a child simply has to love it.  Or there are other books which weave in a message within the story without preaching at the child.  Think of Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs which isn’t designed to be a bereavement therapy program… but it is nonetheless.  This is where the art of subtlety comes in.  Some authors have it. Others don’t.

A relevant case right now is in the world of Christmas picture books. I think there are many categories of books—indeed something to suit everyone— within this genre and all have their place, whether you’re looking for a beautifully illustrated Nativity story or a thought provoking piece of history.  But I’ve slowly come to realize something about myself in this category: my very favorite books are ones that are fun or sweet but have a hint toward the spiritual meaning of the holiday. I don’t necessarily need the full blown preaching on the gift of Jesus. I don’t need the tear jerker “true spirit of Christmas” charity-toward-the-poor or the be-kind-to-others story. I don’t even need the cutesy board books so much.  What I do need… what are my very favorites… are the picture books that tell a lovely story and then somehow the reader is left with a little warm feeling inside that there is something special going on here. And the child doesn’t need to be told how to felt. And the child may feel just a twinge of wonder after the book is closed.  It’s the same way I feel about music. My very favorite music is definitely not overtly “Christian”… but it is heartfelt and full of depth and meaning and the complexity of human nature. Off the top of my head, when I think of the Christmas books in this category they mostly involve the humble little mouse! How funny that mice are such dear, beloved creatures warming their cute paws by the fire in picture books… but in real life they are loathed and hunted. But I digress:

Mousekin’s Christmas Eve
Mortimer and the Christmas Manger (a quite similar book to Mousekin, only newer and cheaper)
The Little Drummer Mouse
Drummer Boy (not a mouse… but a wee, dear toy instead)

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The Best Treasuries, Sets and Collections

This is the time of year to be thinking about meaningful gifts. Perhaps even heirloom gifts!  Each Christmas, one of the gifts our kids receive are books… often picked up throughout the year at a thrift store and saved, but sometimes a special title I’ve been eyeing a while and know a particular child would love. Sometimes, we gift a set or deluxe collection of something to a child and these have become treasured components of their personal growing libraries.  You have to be a little bit careful when buying “sets” of books because a couple mistakes are often made:  1- the set is incomplete of what you consider to be essential favorites.  2- The set includes abridged versions of stories. Or the biggest grievance I have: the set includes illustrations that have been truncated, altered or deleted to the point of ruining a good story. (Don’t mess with McCloskey!) But sometimes, despite some of these mistakes, the collection can still be an wonderful investment and treasured gift. Here are a few of what I think are the best of the best offered right now.

BOARD BOOK SETS

 

Gyo Fujikawa’s Little Library. What a deal!  Happy art. Simple text. Tiny books. Perfect for a two year old maybe…

Jan Brett’s Little Library. Contains three of her must have board books: The Mitten, The Hat, and The Gingerbread Baby.

Brown Bear & Friends Board Book Gift Set. All three of the infectious rhyme books that get read over and over again in our home…

Margaret Wise Brown’s: Baby’s First Library A perfect gift for new babies!

The Little Red Box of Bright and Early Board Books. I love P. D. Eastman and my three year old does too.  I don’t mind that these are abridged versions of the classic books (in fact I welcome the shortening since I am currently asked to read Go, Dog Go twice a day, every day.)

 

PICTURE BOOK SETS or ANTHOLOGIES

 

Mad about Madeline. Doesn’t every girl between 5-8 need this collection (and not the later, added on versions…)?!

Frederick and His Friends: Four Favorite Fables. There is another one by the same author but I prefer the titles in the first set if I had to choose just one.

The Complete Adventures of Curious George. Again… the original tales are so beloved! No need to scramble after the dozens of after-tales by other authors. They aren’t “bad”… just not quite as charming as the original.

Once There Was a Boy… Boxed Set. Delighted to find this new this year!!!  I have a son who loves Oliver Jeffers and this just may go under our tree next month!

Eloise Wilkin Stories: Little Golden Book Treasury. For nostalgic mothers who love Wilkin’s work and want to pass the beauty onto their daughters…

Mike Mulligan and More: Four Classic Stories by Virginia Lee Burton. Unabridged and complete illustrations!

Lois Ehlert’s Growing Garden Gift Set. A lovely collection for budding gardeners.

Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury. Four of her best, snowy books!

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile Storybook Treasury. Lyle is an odd one. Some children don’t really fall in love with him. Others engage and won’t let go. To those children, this is a wonderful collection.

Richard Scarry’s Best Little Golden Books Ever!  A collection of just plain, old fashioned good stories illustrated by the incomparable Scarry.

Maurice Sendak’s Nutshell Library. My favorite… everybody needs Alligators All Around!

Dr. Seuss’s Beginner Book Collection. Pares down the vast Dr. Seuss collection to just the must-have classics.

Babar’s Anniversary Album: 6 Favorite Books. Originals only!

Joy to the World: Tomie’s Christmas Stories. Worth the collection for the Three Kings book alone in it…

The Paddington Treasury: Six Classic Bedtime Stories. Good old Paddington, delighting British children for ages now.  Let’s reignite love for him on this side of the water!

The World of Peter Rabbit: Books 1-23, Presentation Box. Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without this:  the pièce de résistance‘!

CHAPTER BOOK SETS

Pooh’s Library. Individually bound.  Or in one volume if you prefer.

Mercy Watson Boxed Set: Adventures of a Porcine Wonder.  Let’s be honest. These are barely chapter books.  Indeed, I give them to my eager 8 year old who still stumbles to read independently.  But he feels such a mastery at reading these “official big kid” books… Mercy Watson is a great bridge to real chapter book reading.

Little House Nine-Book Box Set. C’mon. Every home needs this.

Favorite Thornton Burgess Animal Stories Boxed Set . Lots of bang for your buck with the Dover produced classics here!

Old Mother West Wind and 6 Other Stories. Same great bargain, but different titles as above.

Anne of Green Gables, Complete 8-Book Box Set. Because I have a ginger-haired girl who will love this someday.  Well, she acts more cayenne than ginger!

The Chronicles of Narnia. Please, please be certain to buy a version of these books WITHOUT the movie tie-in photographs on the covers!!!  Let imaginations come alive before putting real actor images in their minds!

The Chronicles of Narnia Complete 7 Volume CD Box Set (Unabridged). Audio book to own and play in the car!!! I’ve had my finger hovering over “Buy Now” on this for a couple years now!

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: Deluxe Pocket Boxed Set. This set is leather bound. Are you kidding me?!  I might buy it for MYSELF since it lends itself so well to re-reading.  And these books do need to be reread many times through one’s life.

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Raving about Roger

 I’ve been on a Roger Duvoisin kick lately.  This is for a couple reasons.  One, I found a couple of treasures from him this summer at a garage sale… Day and Night (of which I had no prior knowledge) and The Beaver Pond (which was on my wish list for some time).  More about these titles later.  The other reason I’m on a Duvoisin kick is because I discovered he has a bunch of out-of-print Christmas titles that I’m aching to see.  In a future post, I’ll discuss how I finally saw some of the books on my “Top 10 Out-of-Print Christmas Titles I Want to See” from my Christmas motherload post… and have quickly refilled those unseen titles with some Duvoisin ‘new’ ones. (As a teaser, check out these photos.)

Most of you probably are familiar with Roger Duvoisin’s work through his covers on the old New Yorker magazine and his most famous picture books he wrote and/or illustrated: White Snow, Bright Snow, Petunia, and The Happy Lion.  All are great. So are all the other books from his I’ve read so far.

           

Anyway, I’ll tell you a bit about Day and Night.  It is one of those books that would never be printed by today’s publishers.  Not because the art was quirky and wonderful… alternating pages of full color and black and white as was sometimes common. Not even because it’s charmingly dated with Mr. and Mrs. Pennyfeathers depicted in their separate beds at night-time.  Not because the boy’s name is “Bob.” Nope, this book is absolutely off its rocker in its implication that dogs are not IN the family… rather PART OF the family, which is an entirely dated concept.  There’s a distinction.  And it was not lost on me as I read this book.  Oddly, it’s just in the conclusion to the story’s problem of the friendly owl (Night) and the dog (Day) striking up a friendship that couldn’t make their hours
meet.  ***SPOILER ALERT***  Bob builds a dog-house for Day to sleep in.  Do people still do that?  Have dog-houses?  It seems our culture is so bent on making sure dogs are simply furrier members of a family; they live indoors, have insurance, and a cushy place to sleep.  Listen, I’ve got nothing against indoor pets.  But I am one of the increasingly few people that has nothing against OUTDOOR pets either!  So it goes…

          

In The Beaver Pond, we find the perfect example of a LIVING BOOK.  Authors like Jim Arnosky for example, are diamonds in the rough in the category of “educational picture books.” I have to admit that picture book biographies are doing quite well, with exciting new additions to that genre published each year.  But it seems to me that high quality science or nature books are a bit harder to come by new.  (Great, out of print ones exist.)  Anyway, The Beaver Pond is one of those perfect stories that teaches (without preaching) so much about biology and ecology while still maintaing the necessary elements of a storyline to hold a child’s attention. I am so glad I was able to get it!

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An Ode To The Authors Who Raised Me

I can’t ever remember  not being able to read; I think I was four when I picked up the skill.  And when I finally got my very own library card, you may as well have crowned me Queen and given me a million dollars.  All those books! I loved the smell, the feel, the organization of the library.  And living in a home without many books to call my own, I felt like the library was such a God-given treat to visit.
In retrospect, I wasn’t a very discerning reader as a child—I pretty much read whatever I could get my hand on, be it the back of cereal boxes or my mom’s medical encyclopedias. It didn’t matter.  But I began thinking recently about which books and which authors really were formative for me as a young girl. I though that there MUST be some consistent element of taste there considering how particular I am today! And there was. As a young reader, I didn’t know much about single, excellent works of fiction in the picture book world (and I regrettably never explored the non-fiction side of the picture book world) but I did know about authors I liked and I stuck with these authors whenever I could.  This is quite a different list from another post I want to write someday on the “books my Mama read to me” —which occupy an entirely distinct dimension of love in my heart.
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Whenever I walked into the old Fort Vancouver library (which looked nothing like their current, incredible, state-of-the-art facility), I made a beeline straight to the P section to see of there were any Bill Peet books I hadn’t read yet… or any old ones I felt like revisiting. I don’t know what it was about Bill Peet… but I loved everything he ever wrote.  He was my very favorite and I adored his illustrations. Some of his books rhymed—but they were so well done that it never felt contrived. That man had an imagination! It’s no wonder he was one of Walt Disney’s early animators.  I can’t remember one particular standout of his clever books, but I do have a special soft spot for Buford The Little Bighorn and Kermit the Hermit.  
After I had a handful of Peet books, I marched straight over to Maj Lindman to see if there were any new Snip, Snap, Snurr or Flicka, Ricka, Dicka books. These were rare and my particular branch only carried a few titles at a time it seemed. When I read Flicka, Ricka, Dicka and Their New Skates for the first time, I couldn’t think of anything more wonderful in the world than being a triplet. I had 3 sisters but no matter how hard I tried to imagine, none of them were as perfectly sweet as these girls… but that didn’t stop me from pretending. 
Next, I’d push and shove my little brother out of the way to be the first one to score any Richard Scarry books. We didn’t care that the stories were simplistic or not even stories at all sometimes, we just spent hours looking at Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day and picking characters to be and naming all our siblings and friends according to their characteristics… Mom was the Mother Bunny who lived in a boot and my brother always claimed Huckle as his own.
Two authors who kept me in their clutches long after I had technically outgrown them were Syd Hoff and Peggy Parish—famed authors of “readers books”.  Syd Hoff had a way of making Danny and the Dinosaur and Sammy the Seal much more than just a learning to read books, but fun and comfortable adventures that made you forget they were designed with simplistic plots and easy vocabulary. Then there was the endearing and iconic housekeeper: Amelia Bedelia. I thought her language and literal foibles were hilarious even after I was already reading longer chapter books.  I use Amelia Bedelia today just to demonstrate figures of speech with my own children.  A comparable figure in children’s literature is Minerva Louise, the hilarious and beautifully simplistic hen who makes other toddler books look so asinine by comparison.
Almost everyone knows about Stan and Jan Berenstain.  I don’t make a point to read the Berenstain Bears to my children much now… they’re just a little thin on the plot and heavy on the virtue for my personal level of tedium. (And I get allergies to books whose characters get made into cartoons or movies!) I tend to only read books that I enjoy reading also (which narrows our choices tremendously, let me tell you!)… but that’s not to say these aren’t good books. As a child, I fantasized living inside the world of Brother and Sister Bear in a cute little tree house.  I loved how golly-gee quaint everything was (and wondered why Mother Bear never changed her frumpy housedress?).  Since I was a serial reader, the sheer volume of Bear books really hooked me in and kept me happy for a very, very long time, especially since I read most of them numerous times.

Virginia Lee Burton has a very soft spot in my heart for the specific reason that I have never outgrown her.  She faithfully entertained me with The Little House and Katy and the Big Snow as a child and continues to win me over with all her nostalgic other tales and extraordinary machines too.  I was giddy when I found out there was a real live “MaryAnn” steam shovel parked in field in the tiny town of Chimacum, WA near me. I wish I had a picture to show you… but my kids and I were practically breathless with joy in seeing this remnant we’ve always loved from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

Last is an author who is responsible for my journey into chapter books.  He is the one I sought .  Today, before I start getting all up on my pedestal on what wonderful taste I had, I remember that I also read pretty much every single Babysitter’s Club and PeeWee Scout book ever written also, not exactly Newberry Prize Winners. But still… Burgess was my heart-warmer through good times and bad because there was always a new animal adventure to entertain me:  When I was a kid, titles like Blacky the Crow only came in dull-covered hardbacks. But you can get that same title for only a buck with Dover’s thrift editions!  And other titles can be easily collected in affordable box sets today too; I’m slowly grabbing them up for my children today—who I am proud to say also enjoy the easy, satisfying feel of these books also.
Thornton Burgess

Thank you wonderful writers for bringing up a little book-starved girl and fostering in her both a love for reading and giving her some very good friends in books when those in real life during this time were hard to find… {insert heart emoticon here}

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ABC Animals: Pick of the Week

I didn’t think I could get excited about any new alphabet books.  There are so many fabulous ones on the market already.  (See my Top 10 posts Part One and Part Two about that— which means I either need to amend these lists or start a Part Three!)  But this is like someone reinvented the wheel! Produced by the American Museum of Natural History, ABC Animals is a large board book that is one of the best alphabet books I’ve seen in a long time. What makes it so appealing?  The simplicity for one thing. It’s printed on excellent, high glossy pages with incredibly engaging photographs of various animals.  The text is very brief too.  Many alphabet animal books act like encyclopedia entries and kids almost never take the time to read through the whole bit.  This one is perfect, just one or two sentences describing a fun fact about each animal.  And it succeeds on one of my most critical alphabet-book-judging-points!  They didn’t cheat on the letter X!  (X-ray Tetra Fish indeed!) Considering that this was just a spontaneous grab at the library, I am highly impressed!  Now I have to go seek out the AMNH’s other ABC books: ABC Dinosaurs and their new ABC Oceans which will release next month.

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What’s Your Favorite Animal?

I picked up What’s Your Favorite Animal? on a whim and was happily surprised to find it as satisfying for adults as it is for children. (That’s the test of great children’s literature you know!)  In it, there is a medley of picture book artists who submitted illustrations of their personal favorite animal and a small anecdote or explanation why.  It’s great fun comparing the different styles of art and well-read children will find it a fun piece of trivia to see if they can match the artwork with the books they have previously read by that particular artist.  Some are obvious… like Eric Carle. Others require just a pinch more thought: like Peter Sis.  At any rate, it’s a fun little diversion from typical picture book fare and something any bibliozealot can appreciate!

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