It's We Recommend, in which we attempt to match kids up with their perfect book. Got a kid in your life who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And all the good suggestions are in the comments, so be sure to look there.
How I think of myself: all-seeing. Wide-ranging. Flexible.
How I actually am: stuck in the confines of my life and circumstances.
For instance: I feel like I know a lot of children's books. But really? The books I know now seem to be only the ones my (constantly and frighteningly getting older) kids are interested in.
So it is with a bit of culture shock along with fond memories that I get a request like this one. Check it out:
My daughter is 3 1/2. She also loves being read to, and we do this every day, sometimes a couple of times every day.
She has enjoyed board books in the past (Sandra Boynton, Taro Gomi) but for the last year or so is into what she calls "real" books, which means one made of regular paper (!). She has loved Alexandra Day's Good Dog Carl series tremendously, also Margaret Wise Brown, Oliver Jeffers ("Up and Down" and "Lost and Found") and some of Dr. Seuss (she loves the "drama" in Dr. Seuss I think). A current favourite is "I Live in Brooklyn" by Mari Takabayashi.
We find that she is increasingly likes books with a 3-4 of lines on each page and incredibly detailed illustrations.
We are a multilingual family, so picture books work as well because we can work with various different languages at the same time (books by Jan Ormerod–"moonlight," and "sunshine" are huge hits, and continue to be). "Season-related" books, especially those to do with very cold winters are a bit difficult to relate to because while we lived in NYC for ten years we have now moved to India where the weather is pretty much the same through out the year!
She's 3 1/2! This used to be something commonplace for me, but now I feel like "Awww. She doesn't have homework!"
But let me not get awww-ed away from our task here, which is to find this sunny-sounding person something good to read. I must say I like her style: I, too, am an admirer of Good Dog, Carl. I too dig Mari Takabayashi. I too enjoy the drama of Dr. Seuss.
The trouble is, of course, that I don't know any of the new books, because people in my house don't read them. So I will be relying a lot on you, generous reader, to come up with a few good things in the comments.
I am thinking about the detailed illustrations, because that is one of the best things about reading with the tiny. They can spend so long analyzing what's going on! And it's reminding me of all my old favorites: Babar, and Marshmallow Kisses, and ALL of Richard Scarry with his excellent crazy accidents going on all over. She would do well to get these.
But the one my kids truly loved reading was Sidewalk Trip, also illustrated (if not written) by Mari Takabayashi. Particularly appreciated: it has tiny drawings of cakes and cookies.