Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Bookshelf—Children's Books with Beautiful Artwork

It is my opinion that you are never too old for children's books. I find they're not just good for putting toddlers down for naps, they are also the perfect light reading when I myself lie in bed, mind still active but trying to settle down. Here are a few books I've read recently that feature great illustrations.

Elephants Aloft, written by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Keith Baker. This is a whimsical story of two young elephants traveling by hot air balloon from India to visit their aunt in Africa. The text is extremely simple, letting the gorgeous illustrations tell the story of how the elephants bathe in waterfalls, sleep in balloon-supported hammocks, and never touch the ground on their voyage to another continent.

Sailor Cats, written by Emily Whittle, illustrated by Jeri Burdick. Two bored housecats decide to sail the ocean in a rubber tire. They encounter fierce sharks, friendly dolphins, and drenching storms. What really made this book stand out to me are the beautiful pictures and swirling colors.

The Dreamkeeper, written and illustrated by Robert Ingpen. The Dreamkeeper, with help from his sister and a dwarf, captures rogue dragons, goblins, and other dangerous creatures that threaten our dreams. I was a little put off by the male protagonist who has female and racial other as his sidekicks, but the illustrations are wonderful and highly-detailed. There's a charming mix of traditional and modern fantasy.

What storybooks do you love for their illustrations?

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