Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Art Board Books

Graham has acquired a lot of thoughtful presents over the year. If you asked him what his favorites might be, he’d probably cite the soggy corner of that sweet tasting Amazon box or the Styrofoam packing blocks that made such a satisfying squeak against his teeth. But some of MY favorite things that he’s received are books. And he’s collected quite a few great ones. While sifting through the big pile he’d recently flung off the shelf, I noticed that he owns several art-themed board books that, while perhaps are not the best written of the bunch, contain amazing works of art I am so happy his curious eyes and growing brain are already being exposed to.

Whether you have a child of your own or are searching for a gift for someone else’s kid, these books are sure to please adult reader and baby listener/looker alike:

Counting with Wayne Thiebaud is one that I have already given to a few new moms, and was so excited to find under the Christmas tree from our friends Nick & Janie. It’s chock full of pretty pastel paintings of food (one of my favorite subjects as a kid) and is written in a lovely lilting rhyme.

So Many Stars is more free-form, as it’s really more about stringing Andy Warhol’s simple illustrations together than following any sort of narrative. But it’s pretty cool that many of the images have never been published before. This one was a birthday present from his Mimi. 

Magritte’s Imagination is page after page of the Surrealists’ paintings paired with fanciful possibilities that will spark a reader's budding wonderment. Our friends Victor and Andrea sent this one from Brooklyn with love

Charley Harper 123s features 10 of my favorite illustrator’s graphic drawings of animals, fish, and bugs. (With a couple of vague, redundant “creatures crawling” on page 5 and then different “creatures frolicking” on page 9---but all is forgiven knowing that the book was put together after the artist’s death and that they were just working with what already existed.)  It is one of Graham's most-read/chewed on.  

Matisse Dance for Joy is a book of the artist’s bright collages set to a song of disjointed sentences calling the reader to action. It's nice! I just kind of wish it rhymed.

Something else I like to do is write the name of whomever gave the book to us inside. Then every time Graham chooses a book from his little library, he is reminded of the someone who picked it out just for him. 

- Cathleen 

1 comment:

  1. I love these... We are always on the look out for art books geared toward kids without being cheesy! Thanks


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