Collecting Children’s Books

I have a couple different collections. Metal souvenir lapel pins from places I’ve visited, various vases and planter pots, artwork. But the one thing that I’ve always questioned was my collection of children’s illustrated books.

The reason I’m questioning myself over this collection is that I do not know if I want kids.

I have always been on the fence, leaning one way one day, and the other way the next. I have always been told I would be a great mom, and I enjoy children, especially teaching them art. People frequently ask me if I have any kids and I always respond sheepishly that I only have a fur-baby (Winnie the corgi).

My indecision seems to stem, at least I hypothesize, from whatever partner I have at the time. I remember thinking that I would definitely want kids with a significant other, but then I would move on to another and think noooo waaaaay.

Now I imagine myself adopting some day, if I have my way. But I am a long ways away from it. Even still, my mind could change! I’m with a wonderful partner now and I have dreams of us being great parents, I continue to myself, “Nah, I don’t want kids. Yes, I do. No. Yes. No. What is wrong with me!?”

Nothing. Nothing is wrong with me.

I’m 25, going on 26 in 2016, and I don’t have to decide right now if I want children. Sure, my mother was my age when I was born, and my father even younger. But I am not my parents, this is a new generation with people having children at older ages after they have established jobs and homes.

If I ever have kids, I’m sure I’ll be happy. Just like if I never have kids, I won’t regret the decision and will be equally happy. For now, I simply wonder why I have children’s books.

And the real reason is…:

Because they are beautiful.

 

Saint George & the Dragon, by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

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My favorite illustrator is Trina Schart Hyman and I’m trying to collect most of the books she has done. Saint George and the Dragon was, by far, my favorite book while in grade school. Every week I would check a new book out and I would check this one out with it.

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Zak’s Lunch, by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Howard Fine51TGBCK817L

Super funny and extravagant. And you will be starving to eat lunch after you read!

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The Very Quiet Cricket, by Eric Carle

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Most people know him for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but this tale is my favorite of his children’s stories. I especially love the ending, and the illustration of a Lunar Moth.

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One Odd Old Owl, by Paul S. Adshead

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Ask my parents and they will tell you, One Odd Old Owl was my absolute favorite book as a child. It was the first book I read out loud to my family, and it has a great puzzle with hidden messages in each page.

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People, by Peter Spier

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I laugh at the first page now because it talks about how there are 6 billion people in the world. Needless to say, this book is a little out of date, but the illustrations and the message it tells will never get old.

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Pegasus, retold by Marianna Mayer and illustrated  by Kinuko Y. Craft

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My favorite version of one of my favorite Greek/Roman mythological epics. The illustrations look like classic oil paintings, so soft, yet vibrant.

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The Ship That Sailed to Mars, by William Timlin

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 I personally have not read this one, but I desperately want to own it. Just from my research I can tell the magnificence of this book.
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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon
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Iconic and bright, a must for every shelf.
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The Arrival, by Shaun Tan
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I own another story by Shaun Tan and it is wonderfully illustrated, this one is much more detailed than the one I own, but just as wonderfilled.

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Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
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Everyone has to read Where the Wild Things Are. Has too. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s breathtaking.
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Orion and the Dark, by Emma Yarlett
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Great story to teach your child to not fear the dark. I kinda want to make a cute little plushie doll of the Dark character!
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The Story of Paul Bunyan, retold by Barbara Emberley and illustrated by Ed Emberley

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If you haven’t heard of Ed Emberley yet, go look up his name with “animals” and be amazed by the ingenuity that is Mr. Emberley. Not only has he created an art form that uses simple shapes that any child and adult can do, he also taught us to use more than just a pen and paper but our thumbprints, and now he show cases his masterful skill of woodcut printing.
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The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Soon to be on the big screen. I have high hopes for the movie, the book is so beautiful and simple, I truly hope it can capture the minimalist nature.
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Little Red Riding Hood, retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
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 Here’s my favorite illustrator featured again. I have this book in my collection already so I can safely vouch for it’s collectability.
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East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North, illustrated by Kay Nielson

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 The illustrations are simply gorgeous and speak a thousand words.

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Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
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Doing research for this list, I stumbled across this book and memories from my grade school years came flooding back. I remember reading this from the classroom library and making up our own summer garden.
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The Dragon’s Cold, by John Talbot
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 I was such a huge fan of dragons growing up, and this tale is so sweet, the town gets together to help a dragon with a cold!
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Lenny & Lucy, by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

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Seems almost haunting, doesn’t it?
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The Mitten, by Jan Brett

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A great winter time story for the family.
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The Lion & the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney91eL4QpTjUL.jpg

THAT COVER!! No wonder it won so many awards, the cover is a work of art by itself!
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3 Books by Aaron Becker: Journey, Quest, & Return

Fantastic adventures are just around the corner!
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Chalk, by Bill Thomson

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Maybe this book will inspire an afternoon of sidewalk chalk drawings!
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Sidewalk Flowers, by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith

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A little girl makes a beautiful bouquet from flowers growing out of the cracks in the sidewalk. Shows how resilient plants can be, not even concrete will stop them!
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Buster Catches a Cold, by Hisako Madokoro and illustrated by Ken Kuroi

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Look at that fluffy fat puppy! Can you even resist!? No you can’t. I just want to hug Buster!
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Ignis, by Gina Wilson and illustrated by P. J. Lynch

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Another dragon tale! I love me some dragons. I actually bought this when I was in high school when I volunteered for a elementary book drive. The cover just called to me, and then the story reminded me of one I wrote in first grade about finding your spark.

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