Since college introduced me to the movie industry, I have had an underlying desire to write a movie. (But that’s no surprise if you remember the acceptance speech I have already written for my inevitable Oscar.) So when I see that movies like Dumb and Dumber To somehow get made, it makes me think: There has to be money somewhere to green light my project(s), if there’s enough money to make that ridiculous movie. I imagine it’s the same feeling most of us get when we read a particularly – for lack of a better word – stupid children’s book. There are like a gazillion kids books, having vastly varying degrees of value. Don’t you read some books and think they are so basic that you could write a kids book? In this day and age of the internet and ease of self-publishing, I guess it’s more a reality that you could actually do it, but for most of us, these are just fleeting thoughts.
So when I come across a children’s book that is especially well done, it stands out. Most of the books we have in our house are gifts from friends and relatives. We have a lot of teacher friends, so we have a good supply of great books, but we also have a good selection of crap, too. My son got a couple of hard cover books for Christmas this year that are absolutely beautiful and that he enjoys thoroughly. Basic seeming books: My Book of Opposites and My Book of Colors. But the illustrations are excellent and the simplicity of the message is a great learning tool for my toddler. The author, Britta Teckentrup, is an award-winning illustrator, author and fine artist. We highly recommend checking out her books!
And I would be remiss in talking about great artists who have published children’s books if I didn’t mention WonderToast. One of my good friends from college, who studied animation and is an amazing artist, created and illustrated a kids book called WonderToast Wonders About: The Alphabet! We, of course, have a very special autographed print edition, but you can purchase a version for your Kindle from Amazon. It’s a great book that introduces the alphabet and fancy foods to youngsters. We took it on vacation with us last week and my son has been saying “dim sum” ever since (I don’t even know what that really is).
If you’re in the mood to update your children’s library, check out these books! And add other suggestions in the comments if you have a favorite book we should read.