lately, it feels like most of the books on my book stack are the boys’ library books. i’m not too proud to admit that right now, at 8 months pregnant, pictures and fewer words help to keep me awake, even when reading to them. there have been several nights recently where i climb into bed at 8:30, intending to read one of my books for a good while, and then pass out at about 8:33.
the childrens’ section of the library can often overwhelm me, especially if the boys are with me. i’ve learned that when i’m alone is the best time to find and pick out good books. i can actually take the time to glance over them or search for ones i’ve heard about. this doesn’t exactly happen when the kiddos are with me.
occasionally the stack i end up with is full of duds. but the past couple of weeks have been full of good book finds and stories that intrigue both me and the boys.
Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley. leave it to me to find a kid’s book about a famous chef’s childhood, right? i admire edna lewis and this sweet book is about her early life on her family’s farm. the book follows her through a growing season and there are great watercolors of edna and her family growing and picking all kinds of fruits and veggies and nuts. i knew this one was a winner when the boys both sat quietly through the first reading, loving the colors and rhymes throughout the book.
we’re fans of Alison Jay, illustrator of Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator. i hadn’t known about her work in this book until i saw it at the library. it’s a rhyming/eye-spy book that follows the changes different seasons bring to a little town. my boys are especially into all her bug illustrations and winter pictures with skiers and sledders.
i think one of the most frustrating things with kid’s books is finding well written and beautifully illustrated versions of classic stories. i lucked out when i found this one. Andrea Wisnewski’s take on Little Red Riding Hood is wonderful. she illustrates using watercolored paper cut prints that resemble traditional wood cuts. my boys love the detail. i was excited to learn about her new book from her website. The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane looks like it will have the same type of intriguing illustrations and will tell the story of a monk who learns to make the inks that were used in illuminated manuscripts during the middle ages.
i vividly remember sitting for long stretches of time and pouring over richard scarry’s word books as a kid. The Best Word Book Ever is my boys’ introduction to scarry’s world. asher especially loves the book. i’m on the hunt for an older version for our own library, though, because our library edition is one of the new ones that cut the book down by about 20 pages.