Every week we visit the public library and return home with two very large bags of books. It is no secret that we love books, all sorts of books. Yet, there are some books that are so beautiful and captivating that we return to them, time and time again. These books capture the imagination of our family, children and adults alike, and have us suspended, if only for a moment, in a magical world. For some time I have been wanting to share with you a few of our family’s favourite picture book authors in the hopes that you too will be swept away into an enchanted place.
When we opened The Cat and the Fiddle for the first time it was like walking into a world of nurseries rhymes I had never seen before. The stories, so familiar to me and my children, took on an entirely different feel. Instead of rhymes feeling sweet and silly they became magical and mysterious. If I could only have one book of nursery rhymes in my home this would be the one. The amount of attention and detail in every illustration done by Jackie Morris is inspiring and I highly recommend taken a moment to enjoy her books.
If I were to use a single word to describe Ruth Sanderson’s illustrations it would be gold. Her stories and illustrations are so rich and detailed that we cannot get enough of them. Some of our favourites are Goldilocks, The Nativity, Twelve Dancing Princesses and Saints: Lives and Illuminations.
The first book that we took out by Graeme Base was Animalia. My eldest, who was four at the time, got lost in that book and all the intricate detail on every page. Since then we have taken out every single one of his book. The one that is the dearest to us is The Legend of the Golden Snail which captures the adventurous hearts of my children.
The Story of Christmas was how we first discovered Jane Ray. Her illustrations are vivid and full of colour and her stories are a delight. My daughter loves The Apple Pip Princess, and Adam and Even and the Garden of Eden is probably one of my favourite illustrated books of the creation story. I really like the way she depicts people.
Jan Brett is a well known author and illustrator and has written many children’s books. Her illustration are so full of details that even I can get distracted while reading her books aloud to my children. I will admit that I do prefer some of her stories over others. Regardless, some of our favourites are Mossy, Hedgie Blasts Off!, and Trouble with Trolls.