Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reading: children's picture books

0610 children's picture books
Originally uploaded by rooruu.

I was reading some favourite children's books today with children I have known for most/all of their lives, who will soon be living thousands of miles away, the chance to share books like this gone.

These ones have been favourites:
The Elephant and the Bad Baby (Elfrida Vipont & Raymond Briggs), Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak) and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Mordecai Gerstein).

I can recommend them all wholeheartedly - story and imagination and space for aha! which is so valuable in children's books.

The Elephant lulls them with delightful repetition, then does an abrupt about face to catch them out.

I have seen, over and over, Sendak's book transfix a child aged between about 4 and 7 in particular - something about it makes tremendous, compelling sense to them.

Gerstein's book is the newest of the three, chronicling in spare words and at times vertiginous illustrations Philippe Petit's dangerous, extraordinary walk on a tightrope between the almost-built World Trade Center towers in 1974.

And there is, inarguably, something about curling up on a couch with a picture book and children that a computer, with as many bells and whistles as you like, cannot capture.

1 comment:

Dy said...

My children both loved "The Elephant and the Bad Baby", and I always remember Noni telling it on Playschool too, she did the 'rumpata rumpata' part very well. :-)

Their other favourites were "Who Sank The Boat?" and "The Nickle Nackle Tree".

Good childrens' books are wonderful aren't they.