PLEASING PICTURES MAKE READING ALL THE MORE FUN
Have you noticed that, whenever reading to a small child, they always want to look along at the pages with you to see all the pretty pictures? They have to be in the know of what’s going on to enjoy the story to its fullest and, to be honest, sometimes the illustrations are the most memorable part! There are so many wonderful tried-and-true picture book classics for young children and here are just a few.
- Eric Carle’s incredible work will be remembered forever by those of all ages. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and caregivers probably know his illustrations by heart as children love having these stories read. Whether it’s at story-time in school or before drifting off to sleep: the images of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? And The Mixed-up Chameleon have been a part of our lives. The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969) is particularly iconic and remembered for its intensely colorful, playful illustrations. The primitive shapes are also ideal for children to replicate in their own art. The caterpillar’s red head, slightly asymmetrical eyes, little feet, and body composed of varying shades of green is a depiction that almost everyone recognizes.
- N. Parker’s delightful illustrations that accompany B. Parker’s verses in the antique children’s books The A’s and the K’s or Twice Three is Six, The ‘Trocious Twins. at Sea, The Hole and the Corner Book, Larder Lodge, Frolic Farm, and The History of the Hoppers are a little more esoteric. Published in the early part of the twentieth century, these illustrations are nothing short of delightful, quaint relics. The images mostly consist of animals with colorful ribbons tied around their necks as they participate in singing contests, frolicking on farms, and hopping around wearing little coats while carrying umbrellas. The beautiful depictions of rabbits, cats, dogs, ducks, and pigs are literally from another time but resonate today as a picturesque idea of childlike innocence.
- The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr (1968) is a fun story of teatime… only with a tiger! This quirky children’s book is vibrant and whimsical. Kerr’s illustrations almost jump right off the page. The bright orange tiger and a little girl called Sophie (with a blue ribbon in her blonde hair) drawn together, as friends having tea, is a fantastical notion and absolutely perfect for young readers.
- The Rainbow Fish, written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister (1992), is definitely a favorite and is, by now, considered almost a classic. The story of the unique fish with rainbow scales, who eventually shares what makes him special with the other fish in his school is a story that teaches the lesson of generosity and being different. The rainbow fish isn’t very well-liked at first because, with his ostentatious beauty, he feels as if he doesn’t belong with the plainer, more ordinary fish but, when he shares a shiny scale with each fish, they all have a little sparkle that makes them distinctive yet equal.
For more information on what you should be reading to the little ones in your life consult Full Cycle Publications.