Buyer’s Picks: Children’s Books

April 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm 2 comments

Of everything I do at Book Culture, buying the children’s books is certainly the most fun. I always pull out the kids catalogs first and go through them, first quickly and then again more slowly. I’m searching for reprints of long lost favorites and those few special new books that do emerge every season.

Below are my favorites so far this year. I’m particularly attached to the first title about life in a traditional Mongolian home, told from the point of view of a baby. It combines beautiful illustrations and a simple, charming story in a way that is both strikingly unusual and comfortingly familiar.

My Little Round House by Bolormaa Baasansuren
Hardcover $18.95 Groundwood Books
In this delightful picture book, baby Jilu recounts his first year of life in a nomadic Mongolian community. He remembers being cradled by his singing mother, the delicious smells from the cooking pot, his first meeting with his grandparents, and the family’s wandering life with a camel caravan. They celebrate Tsagaan Sar, the new year, and later revel in the warmth and freedom of summer. Richly illustrated by a young Mongolian author/illustrator, “My Little Round House” reveals a world very different, and yet surprisingly similar, to that of young readers and their parents.
Jacob Lawrence in the City by Susan Goldman Rubin
Board Book $7.99 Chronicle Books
Lawrence’s exuberant artwork guides readers through a bustling city. With rhythmic text and 11 iconic paintings, this book is both an introduction to an influential artist and a celebration of city life. Full color.
The Three Robbers by Tomi Ungerer
Hardcover $16.95 Phaidon Press
First published in 1962, this classic has delighted readers around the world for generations. Unavailable in English for years, this international bestseller is now reissued in a lovely new edition. Full color.
A Walk in New York by Salvatore Rubbino
Hardcover Our Price: $13.60 (Retail Price: $16.99) Candlewick Press
Spotlight Title – 20% off
New York City — the perfect place for a boy and his dad to spend the day. Follow them on their walk around Manhattan, from Grand Central Terminal to the top of the Empire State Building, from Greenwich Village to the Statue of Liberty, learning lots of facts and trivia along the way. In this unabashed ode to America’s biggest city, Salvatore Rubbino’s fresh, lively paintings and breezy text capture the delight of a young visitor experiencing the wonders of New York firsthand.
Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes, Adapted by Martin Jenkins, Illustrated by Chris Riddell
Hardcover Our Price: $22.40 (Retail Price: $27.99) Candlewick Press
Spotlight Title – 20% off
From the award-winning team behind the acclaimed retelling of Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver” comes an accessible, lavishly illustrated edition of one of the most beloved stories in the world. Full color.
Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle
Hardcover $16.99 Henry Holt & Company
Daniel has escaped Nazi Germany with nothing but a desperate dream that he might one day find his parents again. But that golden land called New York has turned away his ship full of refugees, and Daniel finds himself in Cuba. Yet even in Cuba, the Nazi darkness is never far away.
Toby Alone by Timothee de Fombelle
Hardcover $17.99 Candlewick Press
Translated into 22 languages, this imaginative debut is a gripping and witty eco-adventure set on a Lilliputian world where a tree is under threat and a boy hunted by his own people must protect his father’s secrets.
“The impressive debut novel from French playwright de Fombelle deftly weaves mature political commentary, broad humor and some subtle satire into a thoroughly enjoyable adventure.” –Publishers Weekly
Book of Cities by Piero Ventura
Hardcover Our Price: $15.16 (Retail Price: $18.95) Universe Publishing
Spotlight Title – 20% off
Ever wondered what people are doing in cities all over the world at any given moment? Piero Ventura’s charmingly illustrated children’s book—appreciated by both young and old—brings bustling scenes of major cities to life in intricate detail. This facsimile edition of Ventura’s original book, first published in 1975, provides a colorful, educational, and unique tour of major world cities. Delight in each city as you look for the London policeman holding up traffic, children shoveling the heavy snow of the side streets in Moscow, clerks waiting on customers in a huge Parisian department store, or the steam rising from the Chinese food cooking on a tiny houseboat in Hong Kong. The finely drawn illustrations and humorous details in Book of Cities are a celebration of the many ways people live, work, travel, and have fun in the major cities of the world.

Entry filed under: Buyer's Picks, Inventory News.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lettyp1  |  April 25, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Check out my friend’s book – not yet published but will be a smash when it is. Dragon Whisperer by Lucinda Hare.

  • 2. Sarah Rettger  |  April 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Annie, no! You are *not* allowed to add more books to my TBR list.

    The Jacob Lawrence one, though, is gorgeous.


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