I have a real, true love of Children’s literature. Before I even became an author/illustrator. Before I had children of my own. Before I even started working with children professionally. I would far prefer to look at the Children’s section in a book store than anywhere else.
This goes back as far as I can remember actually. I still have memories from my childhood, going to the library and feeling such an sense of excitement and possibility for what I would find. I remember feeling like I won the lottery one time when there was 5 or 6 books in a series that I loved. Now – I get the same enjoyment finding books for my kids that I know they will LOVE. Either way – I can truly appreciate what wonderful material others are putting out into the world. As an ode to my appreciation, I dedicate this post to some of my favourite kids books.
The list is long, but for this post I am choosing to include: Peter H Reynolds, Oliver Jeffers, Kathry Otoshi and Todd Parr. All whom (funny enough) write and illustrate the books I am mentioning here.
Ish. Ya – ‘Ish’ is one of many thoughtful and deeply impactful books by Peter H Reynolds. Somehow he is able to talk about meaningful subject matter while maintaining light story that kids can really relate too. My kids in particular laughed out loud and this one, gave me the teary wide-eyed ‘I can’t believe she did that!’ look and asked me to read it over and over. Which I gladly do.
There are many books Peter H Reynolds has written so I encourage you to check out his collection. While you are at it, make sure ‘The North Star’ gets a peek. I figured, any book that encourages children to ‘Ask yourself…’ if one I want to read to my kids. Heck – I want to read it myself. The first time I read it I was actually hunkered down in the corner of Chapters with a lump in my throat. I meant to just pick it up and skim through the pages but every page I landed on struck me so deeply that I had to read all if it right then and there.
Now, on to Oliver Jeffers. The ever creative, always surprising, one-of-a-kind Irishman. Run to any store and you will surely get enjoyment out of his books. His illustrations is where he particularly gets me – they are SO magical. Even his website (for children) is so fun, you’d have a hard time getting me away from it.
Two of my favourites here are ‘Stuck’ and ‘The Incredible Book Eating Boy’. They are charming. Creative. And as seems to be Oliver’s style – a fresh and fun way to communicate. His humour is something I really admire and hope to incorporate in books in my future. Because there really is nothing better than hearing a little one laugh.
Now – Kathryn Otoshi. She has written an ‘everyone-in-the-world-needs-to-read-and-own-this-book’ book. Yup. The one I am referring to is ‘One’. I chose to feature a few of the interior pages so you can get a feel for the story. Amazing right?
The illustrations remain this simple through the entire store which I think is amazing. She communicates, expresses so beautifully. I seriously think it contains life lessons which everyone could benefit from. This one is usually at major book stores but if not you can always check her out here. Now, last but not least- Todd Parr. He is a brilliant dude. His illustrations are completely simple and recognizable as his – totally relating to his readers. His concepts cover big topics from the ‘Peace Book’ to the ‘Earth Book’ (Pictured Below). Then get to the most personal level of feelings in ‘The Feelings Book’ and ‘The I’m Not Scared Book’. He seems unafraid to tackle all sorts of family situations – never making the books with a heavy spirit about them.
I love sharing them because they are easy to read (Yea for not being overly wordy!), compassion filled and purposeful. Todd writes directly to the little reader at the end of all his books – like a literary mentor, always encouraging children in different ways. Todd – I never tire of your books.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention that I am just sharing this from my heart. It is not a sponsored post and I am not being persuaded by anyone to mention these amazing authors/illustrators. Just me. Not giving formal reviews. Just your friend (who has read a LOT), mentioning a few of my favourite kids books. Hope you enjoy!