Toddler Books

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Toddler Books

Postby Travis » 24 Jun 2015, 02:36

I was curious your opinion of the illustrations in popular children's books. Specifically books aimed at toddlers and pre-school children. To what extent do you believe the illustrations in these books are designed to mimic the artistic skill level of the children themselves? At what point in a young child's life is it appropriate to ask that the illustrators begin to transition into a more rigorous form?

There doesn't seem to be much out there targeted to toddlers specifically, so I'm kind of at a loss as to where to begin looking for books for my son. Mostly what I've received as gifts are books for early elementary school children. In looking through them one notices the differences between, say, Beatrix Potter, where there's minimal illustration and a more sophisticated story line, versus, say, Jack Ezra Keats, where the bright colors and unfashioned depiction of environment and human forms accompanies a loosely-connected narrative. In going to story time at the local library the presentation of illustrations is as much of the entire experience - with the librarian first reading aloud, then presenting the accompanying illlustration to the sitting children - as is the actual imaginative aspect of processing the story - at least more so than what I imagine would've been the case in Beatrix Potter's day.

My son is almost two years old and I'm interested in what other parents are reading at this age. What are you looking for in your children's books?
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Re: Toddler Books

Postby Kevin R » 24 Jun 2015, 13:47

I can't say I'm familiar with the current vogue for children's illustration, but as far as the transitional period is concerned, the children's books that really caught my imagination back in the mid-seventies were the notable 'Borrowers' series of books by Mary Norton.

Marvellous though the writing was, in my opinion what really made them a cut above were the illustrations by Diana Stanley, who was the original illustrator back in the fifties when they were published. They are a wonderful blend of skill and sympathetic imagination..naturalistic enough not to be childish, and expressive without being too childlike.
Kevin R
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Re: Toddler Books

Postby Yessica » 24 Jun 2015, 19:56

I had to google Jack Ezra Keats and showed some of his works to my toddler who is going to be three this fall. He did not like them too much.

I look for books with more naturalistic pictures and an easy to understand storyline for him. He likes non-fiction books ("the horse", "the wood", "the knights") and so on better than stories. With the exception of knights and pirates I mostly choose books about things he experiences in every day life.

I think most of the authors he likes have not been translated. One of his favourite books however has been translated which is "Pip and Posy: The Big Balloon". Okay, in this case the pictures are not naturalistic but he likes it nevertheless.

Pip and Posy: The Big Balloon wrote:Pip had a balloon. A ballon of his own. It was big and red and round and Pip liked it very much indeed

It's simple language and a topic that would bore a grown-up but then he likes it very much and at the medical check-ups I have been told he has advanced language ability for a boy his age.

This is how I do it but I would not say everybody has to do it like this. There are a ton of different philophies about this.
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Re: Toddler Books

Postby Mike » 25 Jun 2015, 03:00

There are plenty of kids' books which strike a good balance in terms of the illustrations - one of my daughter's favourites was the Hairy Maclary series (the stories are delightful as well).
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Re: Toddler Books

Postby Yessica » 25 Jun 2015, 09:37

I just thought of another series of book also available in English he likes: "Curious George".
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