Today’s Author Friday video goes out to the late, great Maurice Sendak. I was thrilled when this aired back in January:
You can watch Part 2 here. He will be missed.
I have a three-and-a-half-year-old nephew who loves to be read to, so I’m always on the lookout for books that he might like. While he loves books with silly stories, he’s always loved books that have detailed illustrations. They don’t necessarily have to be colorful– one of his favorite books is the black and white Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day–but he loves when I ask him to locate something on the page. He’ll concentrate really hard, then give me a really big smile when he’s able to point out whatever object I’ve asked him to find.
¡Bravo!, written by Ginger Foglesong Guy and illustrated by René King Moreno, was an instant hit with him. I was initially intrigued by the book because it’s written in both English and Spanish. My family is Mexican American, but my siblings and I are woefully unskilled when it comes to speaking Spanish, so the extent of the kid’s exposure to Spanish is Dora the Explorer and being around some of the children he attends day care with.
The story is fairly simple: children look around their yard for various objects, then form a parade for their family. The main themes in the book are based on exploration/discovery and on family. Almost every line that’s written in English is immediately followed by the Spanish translation: “Let’s go! ¡Vamos! Let’s look! ¡Mira!” Personally, I thought the writing got a little repetitive at times, but the kid was riveted.
Oops, I forgot to post this: last week was 2010 Children’s Book Week. Coincidentally, my nephew celebrated his 3rd birthday party Sunday. Aside from the occasional cute outfit, I’ve never given him anything other than books for Christmas or his birthday. He loves reading time. This is what I bought him:
Because he loves planes: Airport by Byron Barton
Airport is a book about what happens at an airport. It has very simple explanations about the process of checking in, sitting in the waiting room, boarding the plane, etc. The book also includes a “map” of a plane, pointing out things like the cargo hold and the cockpit. Suffice it to say, my nephew was fascinated. I think this would also be a terrific book for young children who are about to go on a plane ride, since it explains the process so clearly.
Because he loves textures: The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin, ill. Rosana Faria
How would you explain colors to a child who could not see? The Black Book of Colors attempts to convey this experience to its readers through the use of raised illustrations that covey all of the senses except sight. The entire book is black with simple white lettering, and the sentences are also written in braille at the top of each page. It’s a very unique book that won a 2009 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. The book is probably still a bit too sophisticated for my nephew, but I think he’ll grow into it within the year. I know he’s going to love feeling the braille and illustrations.