Call me a luddite, but the thrill of opening a letter will always surpass the static drear of an unread email. Down with the back-lit interface! Let friendships be the weight of paper!
It's hard out here for a pencil. You're living the lonely life of a pencil one day, the next you've started creating your own complicated, demanding, even dangerous world. And then you're starring in an eponymous book, being read out loud to a group of guffawing children who laugh at every twist and turn of your faux-lead life. And when the adults start laughing, you know your meta-creators, Allan Ahlberg and Bruce Ingman, are onto something universal and true. The End.
This is the book that made me excited to go to school. The fact that marvelous and mischievous teachers like Miss Nelson exist was evidence enough for me that the classroom was a magical place.
Traveling is hard when your roots are literal ones, but the little green girl and her gardener find a way to see the world and bring memories back home to their garden.
In which a dog just can't even with these kids.
Never has the Big Bang been quite so poetic, so gorgeously illustrated, or so perfect a lullabye.
Empowerment for pint-sized feminists. Plus, ponies!
When Warrior Princess Pinecone finally gets a pony, she's upset to discover it's a small and silly creature! What is she to do with the great battle on its way?
I've never really connected with a wordless picture book -- I talk way too much to understand any person or entity who refuses to do so entirely -- but this one just blew me away. It's impressive when a children's author can craft and present a clear narrative in 32 pages, so when one does as much without even using the alphabet, it's unreal.
Paddington readers will likely graduate to Wilde, Wodehouse, and Waugh in short order.
A small boy in a gray city finds a tiny patch of green on an abandoned train track, and the world begins to change. Perfect reading to accompany a trip to the High Line.
Perhaps you, too, dream of traveling the world and coming home to live by the sea. But remember, whoever you are, the third thing you must do: something to make the world more beautiful, even if you do not know yet what that can be.
May you live the life of your dreams, but remember you must also find a way to make the world more beautiful.
Make the darkest day of the year a little brighter with these lovely pictures and poetry. Happy Winter Solstice!
The Winter Solstice is a time for renewal and celebration across cultures. Based on Susan Cooper's poem, The Shortest Day is a joyful illustration of Yule and its influences on modern Christmas. Mostly this is just a beautiful book worth reading again and again.
What if you were confronted by a box of disgruntled crayons? Could you convince the recalcitrant colors that a page well-colored is, well, more colorful? Or that crayons should be one for all, etc., like a box of loyal musketeers? Not likely. One fateful day, young Duncan receives letters written by each of his crayons expressing their respective views about how they're being treated and/or mistreated, neglected, passed over, used up, or caught in the crossfire of their battling boxmates. Green Crayon, although happy with his career coloring crocodiles, dinosaurs, frogs, etc., feels Duncan must address the discord and rebellion: "The second reason I write is for my friends, Yellow Crayon and Orange Crayon, who are no longer speaking to each other. Both crayons feel THEY should be the color of the sun." I could quote something clever, humorous or poignant from every crayon, but then you'd be delayed getting your own copy of "The Day The Crayons Quit," penned by the brilliant Drew Daywalt and illustrated by the incomparable Oliver Jeffers. The distinctive voices and personalities of the crayons ring true (Drew's a talented script doctor), and their Jeffers-eque finery would shame the pantone police. I have a theory that Duncan's striking crayons will cheerfully abandon their picket line when kids at McNally Jackson design original art that cries out, "Color me! Please."
There is little I can say to expand on the exquisite beauty of this book. It transports all who open it into a world of rich color and imagination of a kind that is seldom found these days. This is what storytelling means.
Much like world-renowned video game Arena, every image in The Rainbow Goblins is hand-painted and absolutely glorious. It almost makes the story irrelevant because the paintings are so captivating. This book is like bread pudding with caramel sauce: rich, kind of dense, very textural, and just beautiful. The story is also nice--the Rainbow Valley comes together to defeat evil with just too much beauty. However, my favorite part just might be the author’s photo in the back which is, of course, also hand painted. By him.
From what I can remember and what I see every day, having adult-sized emotions in a child-sized body is very, very, very hard for kids to manage. I still have trouble with mine, long after my outsides caught up to my insides, size-wise. The book is a feelings toolkit, and a security blanket.
Is this a book about listening to your parents about good eating habits? About learning to trust your parents to make decisions for you because you don't understand yet? Or is it about eating children? I don't know but I can't get this book out of my head.
We've all been there.
The waiting really, really is the hardest part.
The most perfect description of small-child friendship I think I'll ever see (and a perfect reminder of what matters between friends for those of us who may have forgotten since we were three).
A frog, a drum, a too-quiet forest. What could possibly go wrong?
For the child who wants hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats but may, possibly, accept this book instead.
— Katie Fee
As both small children and classic rock bands know, the waiting is the hardest part. This book makes it easier.
— Katie Fee
Don't play innocent with me: if you've ever had an intolerable younger sibling upon whom your entire family inexplicably lavished nauseating amounts of attention, you've acted like Lilly. Read this, laugh a lot at Lilly, then laugh at how terrible you used to be, and then call your sibling up and apologize.
Having just completed pre-K with my own little dinosaur, I really feel this book hits every note perfectly. Especially the bloodthirsty little goldfish.
Is there a new baby in your life? Do you just want to try to understand this big, weird world? Oliver Jeffers is here to teach us how to be people.
If Michael Jackson had written "Man in the Mirror" about a sunflower seed instead of a man.
— Katie Fee
Hedgehog in the Fog is based on a 1970s Russian short animated film that follows this wonderful, and wondrous, little hedgehog through a kind of strange, existential experience as he encounters a mysterious fog in the forest on his way to visit his bear friend for tea. It's simple and curious, and one of my favorites.
A tale of imagination, inventiveness, and love. Here's to mermaids, and mermaids-at-heart.
I love a parade.
This book is technically about collective nouns, but the delightful illustrations and whimsical language make this a fun read for kids and adults.
The greatest rhyming picture book I have ever read (deal with it, Seuss).
It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single dragon in possession of a large appetite must be in want of hundreds of tacos. And this humorous book has more than one dragon in it, meaning many, many tacos. This light-hearted, slightly absurd dragon story makes you want to read it aloud to a bunch of children making up all sorts of weird voices for each character. If you love tacos too, this book is most definitely for you.
I often wonder this myself. Whatever it is, they all smile while doing it, whether it's driving a truck, painting a pretty picture, or enforcing the law. The best thing to come out of 1968. Also recommended for busy adults!
Love is a tricky thing to define. Z's robot family just can't compute, so Z goes on a journey to find someone who knows the answer. He soon learns that love can mean a great many things.
I remember when my first grade teacher, Mrs. Murphy, read this to us. First grade was the year when everything started to go wrong, beginning with Mrs. Murphy. She never sounded happy except when she was reading Caps for Sale, or describing cavemen.
— Sarah G.
There's something eternal about the picture books that you return to over and over again. Caps For Sale will continue to delight our grandchildren's children for it has it all - counting, colors, caps, commerce, balance, monkeys, peddlars and best of all, monkey business. I love it when the animals will but let the humans think that they have won. And there's geographical significance to this story as well. The monkeys remind me of the baboons who stole my hat on the way to the beach in South Africa.
Whenever I read this book I am reminded of a very special person. Then I remember that I’m in love! Try reading this book. You might realize that you are in love with your best friend.
Fear and loathing on Sesame Street: Your child's introduction to philosophy starring Grover as existential archetype. Are we not all monsters at the end of our own books?
I didn't think the combination of Affection Plus Dinosaurs was ever again going to reach the heights achieved by the masterwork that is Dinosaur Kisses. I was wrong.
Through tales within tales within tales, this book promises that stories can save us--but they need both listeners and tellers to change the world.
Humor and heart on every page, just a country chicken lost in the big city.
I didn't realize how important it would be to have a book about feelings until my son turned four and it suddenly became very, very important indeed. This one is extra special, and I wish I could give it to every child in the world, along with a big hug.