As an illustrator, I love children's books. Whilst browsing around some book shops looking for possible Christmas presents, I was longing to find a really special children's book. A keepsake; something to hold and treasure. There are so many beautiful books out there, and here are some of my favourite picks after my bit of real-life-shopping & online browsing.
The Usborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare (affiliate link) The cover on this book is clothbound, so this is definitely a book to pick up and give you that this-book-is-special feel. Loving the old- style cover design. We all have a million fairy tale stories (well, I know we do), and while they usually look magnificent in the book stores, I'm not sure we can handle another rendition of Henny Penny or The Magic Porridge Pot. Perhaps Shakespeare tales will fulfil the need for more interesting stories, but original?
Mr Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn is an independently published book that really has that special wow book factor. This can be ordered directly from their website & there is also the story behind the book's creation which gives an insight to how this book came about. I've been following the book's journey on Kickstarter & was joyful when the creators raised enough money to bring it to fruition. Now, if I were more organised I could've ordered a copy for Christmas! Maybe next year!?
How can I go past Emily Winfield Martin's Dream Animals!? (affiliate link) Whimsical, lush illustrations and a gorgeous sentiment; a unique dream animal for each individual child. The hardcover edition would be lovely to own. If you order directly from Emily's Etsy shop, you get a signed book, a print and some postcards! Special, special, special! She also has a daytime book out, but I may faint with gorgeous overload if I list that here too.
The Mermaid and the Shoe (affiliate link) Every now and then a book comes along with illustrations that make me gasp. This is that kind of book... Must. Order.
Oh.. Beautiful Oops! Celebrating the human error in all of us, and helping children (and adults) to overcome their frustrations with mistakes (I just misspelt mistakes- seriously!) comes this lovely arty book. I am always emphasising in my children the main purpose of art is enjoyment; not creating something to look a certain way, or pursuing perfection. This book helps get this message across. View it on youtube! Beautiful Oops (affiliate link) Don't be put off by the fact that in the online descriptions it says "board book". It kind of is because of the creative lift-outs and pages inside; but not in a baby-board-book kind of way.
Fox's Garden (affiliate link)
I would also love to feast my eyes upon all of the pages of the Fox's Garden. Paper cut illustrations show intricate work, which inspires awe & makes for a special book. For now I will have to be content with viewing what I can of this book online.
How to Find Flower Fairies (affiliate link)
And a book that we already own, which is truly special indeed, and will make any fairy loving kid swoon, is How to Find Flower Fairies. You can't go past a detailed pop-up book for that special wow factor, and this book lives up to all of those treasured book expectations.
Do you have any special treasured books? You know, the kind that are destined to be well loved; picked up again & again because there is just something really special about the book, be it the story, the illustrations, or the overall feel of the book?
I'd love to hear your picks.