I love picture books! As a kid, I loved reading, and I read and re-read books all the time. As an adult, I still love reading – and I still love reading picture books. A few of my friends and I even buy picture books for each other as gifts every now and then. In some ways I think I can appreciate picture books a little more now that I can better understand the work that goes in to them. Dannii and I are slowly building up our collection as we come across new treasures and some old favourites.
Here’s a little list of five picture books that I really love!
1. Nobody Owns the Moon by Tohby Riddle
Image from Boomerang Books
“Clive Prendergast is a fox with a regular job and a place to call home. His friend Humphrey is a struggling donkey with no fixed address. Life in the city is a mixed bag for these two, but a special-looking blue envelope is about to change everything – at least for one wonderful night.”
I came across this book whilst visiting an exhibition on Australian children’s books at the State Library of Victoria with Dannii a few years ago. We were both really drawn to the strangely bittersweet story, and the unusual collage art style. Tohby Riddle’s notes on the book pretty much sums up why I really like this book – it’s a lot more thoughtful than it first appears, with a lot of hidden depth.
2. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Image from Oliver Jeffers
My friend Katie gave this book to me as a birthday or Christmas gift several years ago because we had a weird sort of inside joke about penguins. I fell in love with it instantly – it’s just so charming! The artwork and the story are very sweet, and I love how much emotion the shows penguin despite it not really having any facial features to speak of!
3. Sometimes I Forget You’re a Robot by Sam Brown
Image from explodingdog
“For a boy who’s always dreamed of having his own robot, actually getting one isn’t what he expected at all. The robot can’t fly, swim, or even talk. All it does is BEEP BEEP BEEP. But this robot does have some hidden talens – and one of them is being a great friend.”
Dannii and I have been reading the explodingdog webcomic for a long time. We both particularly love the red robot character that frequently features in the drawings – one year I gave Dannii a cross-stitch I’d made of the red robot as a birthday gift. So when Sam Brown released his first picture book, featuring none other than our favourite red robot, I bought a copy to give to Dannii for his 27th birthday. It’s another sweet yet poignant story, with that classic Sam Brown art style that we’ve loved for so long. It’s definitely a great addition to our little library.
4. Letters From Felix by Annette Langen & Constanza Droop
Image from Amazon
Poor Sophie! It is the end of the holidays, and her favourite little toy rabbit, Felix, is lost at the airport. Then, a week later, a letter in wobbly writing arrives for Sophie from London, and it’s from Felix. Other letters follow from Paris, Rome, Cairo, a safari park in Kenya, and from New York. When will Sophie see her beloved toy rabbit again? Felix’s funny letters are exciting and informative about the places he visits.
This was my absolute favourite picture book as a little girl. I loved the story, I loved opening the envelopes and reading the ‘handwritten’ letters, and I loved reading about all the different places that Felix visited. It’s entirely possible that my affection for letter-writing stemmed from my love of this book. It’s definitely one that I’ll hang on to and treasure for many, many years!
5. I Don’t Believe in Dragons by Anna Walker
Image from Anna Walker
Everyone in Miss May’s class believes in dragons – except for Jack.
I stumbled across this adorable book while browsing in a bookstore in Melbourne, but I made the sad mistake of leaving the store without buying it. Over the next few years, I tried looking for it in pretty much every bookstore I came across, but never with any luck. Then my friend Katy found it in a bookshop in Bulimba and bought me a copy as a ‘just because’ present. It was such an unexpected treat! I really love Anna Walker’s illustrations, and I especially love the big orange-spotted dragon in this book. I’m so pleased to finally have a copy of my own!