Libby Walden: As We Grow

Walden’s book takes young readers on the journey of life through simple, lyrical writing. Here’s one of my favorite lines: “Behind the library bookshelves sit some curious little minds—there are many truths and answers that they have yet to find.” In addition, Richard Jones’s gorgeous illustration makes it a perfect gift for little curious minds. I know what to get for the next birthday party for my kids’ friends.

Wynton Marsalis: Jazz ABZ

Jazz, poetries, and illustrations, don’t they make a great combination? From Armstrong to DiZ, Jazz ABZ is a collection of jazz portrait paintings by Paul Rogers, and each piece is complemented by Wynton Marsalis’s words. Roger is a fine artist, and his artworks are rich, vibrant, and expressive. Furthermore, his typography skill—bold, playful, and captivating—provides his visuals with jazz characteristics. Although studying Rogers’s type treatment alone is worth the price of the book, the witty (sporadically silly) wordplays trumpeter Marsalis enhance the aesthetic of the graphics, or vice versa. And for those who aren’t familiar with jazz history, Phil Schaap’s brief biographies of the twenty-six featured musicians are both informative and helpful. Jazz ABZ is a children book; however, jazz enthusiasts and graphic designers of any age will also appreciate this little precious work of art.