I had a wonderful conversation recently with a 7-year-old girl named Kate. We were walking along the shore of Lake Michigan and we came upon a wedding being held on the beach. This caused Kate to launch into a description of her own wedding dress. Flowers were a central theme. As I watched her describe—using her hands as well as her words—the dress and the veil and the headband in such great detail, I started thinking about children’s book illustrations that would feed her marvelous visual imagination. The moral of today’s post is, ‘the right book for the right child at the right time’ is what we need to do more of… I told Kate, don’t bother to read the words if you don’t want. Just look at the pictures and think about the pictures in your mind.
Of course, I told Kate’s parents about Fairie-ality: The Fashion Collection From the House of Ellwand (Candlewick, $19.99 paper) by David Ellwand, but that wasn’t enough for me. When I got home, I looked through my extensive collection to see what other books would be a combination of flora and fauna and fashion. I ended up putting together a book bag of fabulously-illustrated books that are not necessarily as fabulously written. Some went on way too long, some were copyright-free texts of classics that just don’t play well today. The stories in some were okay, but all of them had lush amazing illustrations.