Our upBEATS include books that give us a fuzzy feeling, silly books that put a smile on our faces, or brave books that just make the world a happier place. Our current list is a work in progress, and we always love to hear new recommendations!
A House in the Woods
By Inga Moore
Some artists’ work is so beautiful that it’s hard to imagine a written narrative that could match. And then you have illustrators such as Inga Moore whose subtle humor and ability to see the world from a child’s perspective are entirely harmonious with the pencil, pastel and wash that form the backdrop. This book is not so much fuzzy, as otherworldly. In this other world, pigs and moose are perfectly capable of living together harmoniously. And what a house to live in!
All the World
By Liz Garton Scanlon, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
This quiet rhythmic text is quite honestly one of the most uplifting books you can find. We love that Frazee’s illustrations of different members of the same family coming together is not fully realized until the end of the poem. Similarly the stunning backdrop of tree-climbing, farmers markets, beach-combing and other nature-related activities engages the child reader to the end. Great as a board book for littles!
A Visitor for Bear
By Bonny Becker, Kady MacDonald Denton (Illustrator)
Almost as fun to read aloud as to listen to, this tale starts out as a slapstick portrayal of grumpy bear and intrusive visitor, and has, as all great silly stories do, an important message. But this sincerity is not preachy. Even children’s books are most successful when authors ‘show’ instead of ‘tell’, and both author and illustrator do this very well, leaving the child reader to point out that everyone needs a friend sometimes. Great for ages 3+.
What Do You Do with an Idea?
Kobi Yamada, Mae Besom (Illustrator)
We love all Yamada’s books, but especially this one. The artwork is spectacular and the subject matter demands a lot from our youngest readers, as all great books do. As well as following a child’s conflicting emotions regarding the creative process, it also addresses how to build confidence, and the importance of sharing thoughts with others in order to nurture ideas into existence. Brilliant for ages 4+, as a graduation gift, or for those people in your life who like to take creative risks!
Old Manhattan Has Some Farms
By Susan Lendroth, Kate Endle (Illustrator)
$7.99 (board book)
We stumbled across this one at a Caspar Babypants gig (he sings this one as a song – download available). We love the upbeat and optimistic nature of this fun singalong, featuring many cities across North America and showing how small-holdings, hydroponics, bee-keeping and composting are all sustainable and achievable even in inner-city environments! Great for all ages!