Though I no longer have babies or toddlers in my house, I still appreciate a good product aimed at itty bitty folk. I really enjoy the simplicity and innocence of early childhood books and toys. So when Clavis Books, a Dutch publisher, sent me some unexpected books to review, I was quite pleased. It was also interesting to see what kinds of things publishers are working on over in Europe.
For the very youngest among us are Books for Babies: Crinkle Animals by Guido van Genechten. This series of four books show animals in four different areas: Farm, Water, Jungle, and Garden (I received Jungle and Garden). The books are decorated with soft pastel colors, and the pages are made of both cushioned and crinkly material. The crinkly noises keep babies’ interest, and the books are completely washable. Garden has these animals: snail, mouse, caterpillar, ladybug, bumble bee, and puppy. Jungle has: elephant, tiger, giraffe, alligator, zebra, lion, and monkey. There are no words on the pages, only simple animal drawings and fun crinkle sounds.
Books for Babies: Crinkle Animals are for wee ones from birth to age 3. They retail for $9.95 each and are available online.
Clavis Books also sent me a picture book for slightly older kids called Lucky’s Little Feather by Peggy van Gurp, who is both the author and the illustrator. This story was originally written in Dutch, but has been translated into English for our reading pleasure. The original title was Geluksveertje.
Lucky’s Little Feather is a very optimistic story about a mouse named Lucky who has a lucky feather. He feels it keeps him safe. Lucky’s friend Lucy doesn’t believe the feather is lucky until the evidence stacks up. And it is also a love story. Lucky continues to escape or thwart danger, all with the help of his little feather.
The story is pretty simple, and obviously doesn’t teach critical thinking, but the illustrations add quite a lot to the appeal. The art seems to be cut out paper pieces with patterns and textures. The pages in the book are very thick, and will be more difficult for little hands to accidentally tear.
Lucky’s Little Feather is good for ages 4 and up. It retails for $15.95 and is available online. Perhaps you can accompany it with discussions on whether your children think the feather is lucky.
Note: I received these books for review purposes.