Monday, August 30, 2010

Fairy Tales and so much more

Now that I have a small niece and nephew, I’ve become a lot more interested in children’s books. I really love the humour of the pigeon books and I can identify with some of Scaredy Squirrel’s anxieties. I’ve also recently discovered quite a few classics that I missed as a kid.

As a publisher’s sales rep I get to work with lots of enthusiastic and knowledgeable librarians and booksellers and many of them have given me great recommendations for children’s literature. I’ve also come across a couple of wonderful reference books:

1001 Children’s Book You Must Read Before You Grow Up is a British book, but includes stories from all around the world. It’s a beautiful book that's packed full of vivid colour illustrations. The book is divided into age groups (ranging from 0-3 to 12+), and is then organized chronologically within each group. Each book title has a half page description (sometimes more), the year of publication, nationality of author and illustrator, original publisher, and many include lists of other books with similar themes. Most of the books listed also feature a colour cover alongside the description and some include inside illustrations as well. I showed this book to my co-worker and she ran out and bought a copy for herself the same day.

The editor of Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book has interviewed well known Americans and asked them to name their favorite children’s book. Included in each of the 110 selections is a brief plot description, an excerpt from the book, and an explanation of why that book is so special. The list of celebrities ranges from Dave Eggers to Judy Blume and Julianne Moore. There are a lot of children’s authors included on the list of celebrities and it’s interesting to see what books inspired them when they were young.

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