Look, another new feature! As an early childhood education major, I get to learn about beautiful and fascinating children’s books, and even though I know that most, if not all people who read this blog are mostly just interested in YA, I’m sure there are some people out there who could enjoy them! Whether you have children of your own to entertain or simply want to read more books, no matter what age they’re aimed at, this is the feature for you!
The world is big.
Anna is small.
The snow is
and all around.
But one night . . .
One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that she cannot contain.
So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova.
This is a biographical story about Anna Pavlova, a ballerina from Russia who changed the way ballerinas look and dance and brought dance to people who normally wouldn’t get the chance to see it. This is either 100% nonfiction, or mostly nonfiction with some slight flourishes and guesses about Anna’s mindset during her short but great life, and it has gorgeous illustrations.
As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn’t lift his right arm, and couldn’t make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint–and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace’s art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.
Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.
I had never heard about this guy before I had to pick from a random collection of children’s books for class and chose this one, but Horace Pippin is an amazing man as well as an artist. He overcome a lot of things, including the standard racism that any black man living during the late 1800s and early 1900s would experience, but the book rarely dwells on that – it’s included in an author’s note, but if you want to shield your children from the harsh realities of life for a little while longer, it’s not explicitly part of the story.
Meet Florabelle—a little girl with a BIG imagination!
Florabelle just can’t seem to pay attention. And although her family can be a bit serious at times, she knows that life is always more fun when you use your imagination.
Sasha Quinton’s fantastical story about a little girl who dreams big enough to face her fears is brought to life with Brigette Barrager’s beautiful illustrations accompanied by Michel Tcherevkoff’s magnificent flower photography. Florabelle will spark the creativity in every little girl’s imagination and will delight fans of Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious.
I didn’t actually read this book, but a group in one of my classes recreated it with an adorable skit, and the illustrations I found just look adorable. This sounds like the perfect book for a little girl – or boy! – who marches to their own tune and delights in having their head in the clouds, no matter what other people say.
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat combines classic storytelling with breathtaking art, creating an unforgettable tale about friendship, imagination, and the courage to find one’s place in the world.
Another book I didn’t read personally, but a story about an imaginary friend is always welcome! This book also won an award (the Caldecott, I think?), so there’s that if you like to search for those kinds of books as well. This could be a great story for children, though, because it has an imaginary friend going out and searching for his person rather than simply waiting and waiting after no one claims him, which shows initiative or something, right?
The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
This is another award-winning book, apparently, but it’s the illustrations you really want. The illustrator was inspired by The Twilight Zone, and even though I’ve only seen like one episode in an English class, I think it really evokes that feeling well. Of course, you might want to be careful and make sure that your child isn’t terrified of eating carrots after reading this book…
This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child’s confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who’s ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It’s a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s just getting started.
Another book that was presented in class, so I haven’t actually read, but the mostly-monochromatic illustrations look gorgeous and we definitely want to inspire children to be imaginative and creative and always thinking up new ideas, right? And you could always make a little paper crown for the kids as you read along!
So, what do you think of this new feature? Do you have any children’s books that I should check out?
None of these images belong to me – all images come from Google and Goodreads and are only being to promote these beautiful books