When wandering aimlessly through bookstores, there are particular sections that will always grab my attention more than others. I will always visit the bestsellers (i.e Dymocks 101) Literature, Young Adult and Classic sections regardless. However, this all depends on my mood, current interests, exposure to things on social media and money in my bank account I find myself wandering into new and exciting sections. For example, a recent bookstore section obsession was the Comic Book section. I recently purchased my first comic book ‘The Black Mirror’ by Scott Snyder (Tea Cup Review to come!) and spent many more bookstore visits sorting through assorted comics. And you dear reader may have noticed my obsession with colouring books with my numerous blog posts on Johana Basford’s ‘The Secret Garden.’ Well, I have moved on to something old, yet something spectacularly new. My latest bookstore section obsession is Illustrated Children’s books! For the past few weeks I have been working with a variety of primary school students and their passion for reading just warms the cockles of my book heart. They have reminded me of the wonders of story telling and how young minds are so easily inspired by the magic of narrative.
Children’s literature, although named for the kids, is absolutely not limited to the young human population. Why I know this is because when I was a child, I absolutely loved watching Disney films such as ‘The Lion King.’ I loved Simba and Nala and had my very own plush toys I would play with constantly. Now as an adult, I still enjoy the films just as much for two reasons. The first is all of those quirky jokes that washed over my six year old head are making adult Ashleigh giggle. Yes Scar, sometimes I truly believe I am surrounded by idiots as well. And two, ‘The Lion King’ has a similar plotline to Shakespeare’s play ‘Hamlet.’ #literaturewin Disney, can you do anything wrong?
While on my bookstore visit, I selected a picture book called ‘Eggs’ written by EJ Carroll and illustrated by Emmi Ojala. Out of all the books in the section I was immediately drawn to this book, and I selected this book for an extremely personal reason. I did not start to eat eggs since I was about nineteen years old because I thought they were yuck. The difficulties of fussy eaters. Now with my taste bus reinvigorated with the zest for eggs, I feel like I have nineteen years of non-egg eating years to make up for! Carroll and Ojala’s book just singlehandedly filled that emotional void for me. The sad part is, I am not entirely joking. But the cherry on top for this book purchase was the accompanying note with ‘Eggs’ saying this was designed by a local author! Local business and creativity matter! Now for obvious reasons, this book did not take me a ‘Game of Thrones’ eternity to read. Picture books are usually short and rightfully so, keeping in mind that young energetic children who are the target audience. So I have decided to discuss this book in three separate categories: Illustrations, Rhyme and Narrative.
🍵Illustrations A big selling point for me with children’s story books is the use of bold and bright colours. ‘Eggs’ ticked all the boxes and I was really engaged with the picture straight away! The front cover says it all with the quirky expressions of the eggs! They look like headstrong characters who know that they want! Also what made me purchase the bookswith the inclusion of not only eggs but also egg accessories. Immediately you can spot bacon, salt toast and cutlery! Just genius. The illustrations jump off the page and I am still gushing over how cute these bloody eggs are!
🍵Rhyme Reading to small children for the past few weeks I have learnt of the importance of Rhyme. Children love to sing and clap along to rhyming verses and is a brilliant way to grab their attention. The entire book is filled with rhyming verses that are all extremely cute and catchy. I can just imagine a class full of children following along all excitedly! I bet they can come up with matching actions as well!
🍵Narrative Just read this blurb dear reader and tell me that this is not the cutest thing in the world: Six eggs each dream of being something different. But life in the cold, dark fridge is not all it’s cracked up to be and who they become on the inside will determine their destiny. I am a frim believer that if presented in an accessible context, you can teach children complex ideas. themes of friendship, bullying, identity and belonging.
‘Eggs’ is such a heart warming story and encourages children to dream to the stars. It is so inspiring to empower students of all aes to be in touch with their aspirations and understand that hard work is rewarded. The story is just gorgeous! This story is absolutely recommended to anybody who is interested in children’s stories and loves to dream! I have this book in my teaching bag so it is ready to go for the little ones. 🍵🍵🍵🍵🍵 (I couldn’t give it anything less!) I hope dear reader that this blog post encourages you to have a poke around the children’s picture books in your local bookstore. Not only will you bump into old favourites such as ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Dr Seuss and ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle, but you will be inspired by new and exciting titles! Currently on my #tbr list for Children’s literature is:
🍵’The Day the Crayon’s Quit’ – Drew Daywalt
🍵’The Book with No Pictures’- B.J Novak
🍵’Press Here’ and ‘Mix it Up’- Herve Tullet
What are your favourite children’s illustrated books dear reader?
Miss Book Dependent xo