I am a self-proclaimed book fiend. Children's literature holds a special place in my heart - I think it is because my mother is an avid book lover herself and taught me from very early on to love classic, well-written children's literature.
Beautiful, enriching illustrations are just a part of the draw of a wonderful children's story, and so most of the books we review here will have gorgeous drawings.
You will not find any lackluster books on this blog. No vulgar Dora, Spongebob or Disney.
We believe in books that beautify the experience of growing up and learning.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak/Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church

Cute alert! This little book is so adorable. Just right for morning story time, before nap story time, after nap story time or bed story time. Anytime.

I Love You Through and Through is one that I started reading to the babes when they were a few months old. I still read it to them - although it's a little on the simple side - they still request it regularly.

This one is great for helping babies learn their body parts and there's a sweet interactive element. Almost every page has an activity simple enough for a baby to do or for you to do to your baby.

Books are one of my favorite gifts to give. Here's my sweet-boy nephew, Judah, enjoying I Love You Through and Through, from his doting auntie and uncle:

Judah is 9 months old.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Time for Bed by Mem Fox/Illustrated by Jane Dyer

"It's time for bed little mouse, little mouse. Darkness is falling all over the house..."
So starts this most favorite of our bed time books.
I have Time for Bed memorized. Cover to cover. We got it as a gift when Beck was a baby and I started reading it to him at just a few months old. He would sit, rapt looking at the pretty illustrations by Jane Dyer and listen to the soothing, lyrical words of Mem Fox.

It kept his (and Evie's) attention at 3 months old and it still keeps their attention today - at four and three.

This might be our all-time-favorite book to read together. And when I think back on these days of endless reading to my kids, this will probably be the book I remember.

I recommend this book to every family. I think it will become my token "Baby Shower Gift."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Goodnight Moon & My World by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Clement Hurd

I'm not sure that it gets any more classic than Goodnight Moon for children's literature. The simplicity, the vivid coloring, the soothing, lyrical story...

We're obviously big fans of Goodnight Moon but I had no clue about it's lesser-known companion, My World written and illustrated by the same team of Brown and Hurd.

Dare I say? I like this book better than Goodnight Moon. I think the kids do too. My World takes on the elements of bunny's day in the same manner as GM approached bedtime. While it's still simple and sweet, it incorporates a world much bigger than the world of a childhood nursery.
Read Goodnight Moon to your babies, read My World to your toddlers and preschoolers.

Reading: In a Comfy Lap

"Grandma Honey" reading to the babies a couple of years ago.
Auntie Alli's college dorm room.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anno's Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno

This is the first of Anno's books that we've ever encountered. But I'll surely be searching these out at the library from now on. I'd really love to buy some, too.

Mitsumasa Anno is a Japanese artist and former mathematics teacher. He illustrated this beginners counting book so simply and sweetly.

Each page has only a number (from 0 up to 12 - representing the months on the calendar) and the same pastoral scene that changes as the numbers climb. For instance, the number eight page is representative of the month of August, there are eight houses, eight children playing, eight adults working, eight trees and eight clouds.
Anno's Counting Book has completely captured the attention of this respected panel of reviewers. :) We will be back for more Anno soon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Noah's Ark Written and Illustrated by Jan Brett

You'll probably be seeing a lot of Jan Brett featured on this blog. Virtually all her books are among our favorites. With just cause. Take a look at this illustration:

Jan Brett is a master at her art. Such sweet stories and breathtaking pages.

The classic Bible story of Noah and his ark in charming illustrations. The details found on every ounce of every page make this is a story book worth snuggling up with again and again.

Jan Brett's website can be found here. She generously provides tons of free downloads which is really rare in an artist.

(Post originally posted at The Insatiable Reader.)

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers/Illustrated by Marla Frazee

"Every day, everywhere, babies are kissed ~ on their cheeks, on their ears, their fingers, their nose, on the top of their head, on their tummy, their toes."

So starts this charming children's book about babies. The words are sweet and lulling but what really draws me to this book is the illustrations by Marla Frazee (her website here).

They are intricate and adorable. I swear I find a new detail every time I read this book to the little ones.
(Post originally posted at The Insatiable Reader.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adele & Simon by Barbara McClintock

This is a book I found on the shelf at our public library. No recommendation, no previous knowledge of the author, just pure luck.

Quick review from here:
When Simon’s older sister, Adèle, picks him up from school, he has his hat and gloves and scarf and sweater, his coat and knapsack and books and crayons, and a drawing of a cat he made that morning. Adèle makes Simon promise to try not to lose anything. But as they make their way home, distractions cause Simon to leave something behind at every stop. What will they tell their mother?
Detailed pen-and-ink drawings – filled with soft watercolors – make a game of this unforgettable tour through the streets and scenes of early-twentieth-century Paris. Illustrated endpapers extend the fun by replicating a 1907 Baedeker map of Paris.
The illustrations found in this book are divine. I had as much fun perusing them as the kids did. (Maybe more? Shhh...) As Simon loses each item it is hidden among the Parisian backdrop - made for a very fun "where's Waldo" type search for Beck and Evie.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Welcome to The Petit Bookshelf.

A spot to review some of our most beloved children's books. We take into account story, illustrations and mostly how captured we are by the book as a whole.

The B. children are four and three with a new chicken due in just a few weeks.

Let the reading begin.