I love Erika’s idea of starting a booklist and I couldn’t wait to contribute. My son isn’t old enough to sit still very long for books yet, but I sure enjoy reading them and admiring the children’s book illustration. One of my favorite books growing up is now a new favorite as a mom. As a child, I always loved the book, “The Snowy Day ”, written and illustrated by . Now when I read it as an adult, I realize what brilliant work Ezra Jack Keats did as an illustrator. I feel like a new fan of his work with a new appreciation. As children we just know what we like, but when we’re older we really appreciate all of the texture, color, technique, and even the fact that Keats was the first writer and illustrator to give an African American child a central part in children’s literature.
One of my stationery designer friends, Le Vu of Paper*Ink Studio , sent the most thoughtful gift when my son was born. She sent two board books featuring two classic (“The Snowy Day ” and “Whistle for Willie ”). So I have Le to thank for re-introducing me to these children’s classics. (Thanks, Le!) Having them in board book form is perfect because we all know that little ones at this age think books are teething toys (even Caldecott Award winning books!)
On a side note, I noticed on the Ezra Jack Keats website that his organization is trying to get “The Snowy Day” image on a postage stamp in honor of it’s 50th anniversary. They are collecting signatures for their letter to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee in efforts to convince them to honor this classic children’s book in this way. If you are so inclined you can click here for more details and to sign the letter. I personally would use those stamps all the time. It combines two things that I love: children’s book illustration and sending old fashioned mail. What’s not to love about that?