the importance of beautiful books for kids

December 14, 2011

I recently checked out the book Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book and have been having the best time reading through all the entries.

It's a collection of short essays written by people from all walks of life about the impact a specific children's book had on their lives.

It's utterly fascinating.

I came across the essay written by Carol Greenwald. She tells of her family's experience with the book The Oxcart Man and explains the importance of aesthetics in regards to children's media.

She writes, "We need to be thoughtful about exposing them to language that's carefully constructed and visuals that are designed with thought about the artistry and style. That way, they can learn how to appreciate and understand the beauty of language and art and, perhaps, even see a model of how to create it themselves."

She put to words what I have long thought, but have never been able to explain. Beautiful illustrations and well-written language are crucial to children's books.

I always thought I felt this way because I was an English major and somewhat of a literature snob. But now I think it is more than that. I think it is important because the books we share with our children are teaching them something--not just about the subject matter or the character's actions--but about how language works and what beauty and art are.

Beautiful books teach kids what art is and shows them how to experience beauty.

And perhaps, what is even more exciting--it teaches them how to create art for themselves.

Isn't it amazing imagine that the books you read with your children today will have an impact on the lives that they have in the future?

All the books I share with you on this blog are ones that I think are beautiful, well-written, and captivating to children and adults alike.

However, I wanted to share these three books that we have recently discovered which I think fit perfectly into the "beautiful books" category.

They are all exquisitely illustrated and masterfully written.

I'd love to hear what beautiful books you've read recently (or in the past!)--leave a comment and let me know!

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