A month ago my son turned 1. And in the build up to his birthday and party, my wife and I had to decide what to get him. We had a feeling he would get plenty of toys and clothes so we decided we wouldn’t add to that. Instead, we naturally turned to books for a gift for our son. And where did we turn? To a nearby Borders, which was Going Out of Business. Searching through the deeply discounted books I stumbled upon books I hadn’t thought about in years and years and years, books that reminded me of my young childhood, books that were probably new for me and quite worn by the time my youngest brother got around to reading them. And now I would like to share a couple of these book gems with you.
First up is the purely imaginative Harold and the Purple Crayon. In this tiny book Harold creates and then explores great places by drawing them with his purple crayon. The simple illustrations, simple purple lines, always spurred new imaginative drawings in my head. I was excited to pass this one on to Garrett.
Next is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. The illustrations in this are far more detailed and have a very old school style to them. This book lodged itself in my memory when Mike and his shovel dug a big pit but forgot to dig a way out. I still have feelings of panic and worry, even though I know they have a happy ending.
This third book was not from my childhood, but a delight I couldn’t pass up. The book The Three Questions by Jon Muth is a gorgeously illustrated book of a boy dealing with personal and philosophical questions. It is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy and while the story is certainly worth a read, the rich water color paintings steal the show. Its artwork is just as powerful (thought completely different in style) as that of The Arrival. Garrett can’t really touch this one until he can appreciate it a little me (appreciate it for its literary and artistic value not chewability).
Some months back some friends were taking me home and their two young girls were explaining the hilarious exploits of Pigeon as in Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus, or The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, or The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. We brought these home to roost for our son to enjoy.
And finally, I’d like to mention this fun new book: Meet Einstein. This is a cute way to introduce science and the love of learning to young ones. Now, to be honest, the title is a little misleading. It isn’t so much a book teaching who Einstein is but a book where a friendly Einstein goes over some of the basics of science. It is a noteworthy and worthwhile book with bright illustrations.
And that, my reading friends, is really the bulk of what I’ve been reading lately.
Your turn. What books were important to you in your childhood? What books are you excited about sharing with your children? Answer below in the comments.