Dark Mode

Paul Kor: The Hawk and the Dove

Translated by Annette Appel, Kor’s The Hawk and the Dove is a transformation from war to peace. Kor’s paper cutout techniques created simple-yet-striking illustrations to turn a heavy subject matter into a hopeful story. A powerful message for young readers about peace and love.

Deborah Kerbel: Before You Were Born

What a lovely way to welcome a new baby to life. Kerbel’s lyrical prose is visualized with Suzanne Del Rizzo’s textured illustrations created from polymer clay and acrylic paint. A fantastic gift for new parents.

Chris Raschka: Side by Side

I am a bit biased, but this book is one of my personal favorites. Raschka illustrates the bond between fathers and their kids. He shows all the fun and wonderful activities kids and dads do Side by Side. The beautiful artworks are balanced by the bold Aetna typeface. Thanks for the tribute to dads.

Shelley Moore Thomas: From Tree to Sea

Thomas’s beautifully written text sends an inspiring message to children about nature. She encourages children to explore “a wide and wonderful world out there.“ Christopher Silas Neal’s splendid illustrations are a perfect companion to Thomas’s writing.

Stéphanie Demasse-Pottier: My Island

The writing is OK, but the illustrations by Seng Soun Ratanavanh is simply gorgeous. The colors, the Crayon painting, the characters, and the scenes are bursting with life. Get it for the illustrations.

Julia Donaldson: The Cook and the King

This book is not my personal favorite, but my seven-year-old and three-year-old sons love it. Donaldson’s rhythmic patterns allowed my kids to complete the sentences when reading together. For example, when I read, “I’m scared! I’m scared!,” my three-year-old would complete, “I’m terribly scared!” In addition, illustrator David Roberts includes a mouse in every page to give the kids the opportunity to find him. It’s a fun book to read together, but it could also be over-read. My three-year-old makes me read it with him every night.

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.

Marisa Aragón Ware: Where’s Buddha?

Beautifully written and illustrated, Ware’s book teaches children the universal principle of Buddhism. It’s a perfect little gift for beginning readers.

Jessica Hische: Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave

Gorgeous illustration, striking lettering, and inspiring message make it a perfect book for kids to read and for parents to savor.

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.