I love these wings so much it makes me want to dig the sewing machine out of the back of my closet to make a matching pair for my wee one and myself.
Sometimes I feel funny about liking a book solely for the illustrations. My dilemma is possibly the inverse of “never judge a book by it’s cover”. Lucky for you, I’ve decided to eschew that way of thinking and share a recently published work for young children simply because of its beautiful pictures.
Could a book designed entirely using computer software still be organic and elegant? Surprisingly, yes!
You may recognize the work of graphic designer Frank Viva who occasionally does covers for The New Yorker. If not, meet Along a Long Road whose title does nothing to mislead.
Inside, one seamless (pre-binding, 35 foot long!) scene is divided for readers into a panoramic glimpse of a two wheeled journey. A striking yellow bike trail courses throughout right alongside a lovely blue body of water. Both are accompanied by simple encouraging text. We meet towns and cities, pass through tunnels and go up hills, from day to shimmering moonlit night. We hit a bump in the road and fall off our bikes. Kids will see that it’s easy to get back on and continue your adventure.
Alimrose Rag Doll available at http://www.peanutgallery.com.au
She would make a good companion while reading this fantastic take on the classic written by Melissa Sweet.
by Amy Krauss Rosenthal
“All my friends have it so much better than me.” Who hasn’t sang that song at least once or twice?
This feeling of incompleteness is at the center of our story, where young Spoon is in desperate need of someone to polish his ego. The illustrator provides a glimpse of the exciting times had by the other folks that share the cutlery drawer. We’re shown forks lassoing spaghetti, chopsticks that tango among the sushi rolls with precision, and knives happily spreading jam on bread. All culinary feats never, ever achieved with a spoon.
Lucky for him, Mama Spoon is around to reassure her boy that life is indeed grand for their kind. She helps Spoon work through his envy of the other utensils by pointing out what makes him special. “Your friends will never be able to twirl around in a mug or relax in a hot cup of tea.” And she’s right, you can’t eat ice cream with a knife.
Mama Spoon ponders to her son, “I wonder if you realize just how lucky you are?” Everyone needs someone to remind them of this time to time, and Rosenthal’s Spoon aims to tell parents that their children need to be tenderly polished not unlike little Spoon.
And of course, the book doesn’t end without some spooning.
by Kyo Maclear
Kids Can Press 2010
Spork stuck out. His mother a spoon, his father a fork, which made him one of a kind in the kitchen drawer they called home. He routinely gets asked, “What are you anyway?” an experience taken from multiracial author Kyo Maclear’s own life.
A sweet faced little guy. Too round for some, too pointy for others, but perfect in circumstances where nothing else would do. He’s like the kid who never gets picked at kickball. That is, until a new and very messy customer comes to the table giving Spork a chance to prove his utility.
With very similar messages and formats, it would be easy to confuse Rosenthal’s Spoon with Maclear’s Spork. Both books have style and endearing cartoonish leads, but the lovely mixed media illustrations in Spork make it my favorite to look through.
I had so much fun picking out gifts for the baby bee’s upcoming first birthday. He is heavy into bathtime since graduating to the regular tub, so I went for two from Kid O. Then thank heavens I came across this adorable whale spout cover from Skip Hop. Now I can stop being paranoid that he is going to bonk his head.
Baby’s first tugboat from Green Toys
And I looked and looked for a cute teddy bear, after reminiscing about my own childhood teddies, Brown Bear and Eggy. But upon finding Jeremy Fisher, a creation of Beatrix Potter I decided C might have a dandy froggie instead.
Close to a year ago, I was a fresh out the maternity ward mama. Those first few weeks are so full. You will be as exhausted as you are in love, and there’s a whole lot of love.
You are at the mercy of your newborn. There is no doubt who is in charge. It’s the baby.
Last year, Maria Frazee illustrated All the World, which although everyone else seemed to adore, it only made me want to vomit up three decade old shards of my We Are the World cassette. The sap wasn’t her fault, she just drew the pictures- and got a big fat Caldecott Honor medal for it.
But man, The Boss Baby is spot on. It’s got new parents pegged. And once you’ve figured out the mystery that is your new bundle, you will find it funny too.
Love the executive onesie and adorable ending.