The older I grow, the more I love nature. (This might explain my semi-obsession with this site.) When it has been a while (as it has now) since I have been out for a wander in the woods, I can feel it. Nature is restorative. I think this is why I like The Curious Garden by Peter Brown so much. This charming book is the story of a little boy named Liam who loves to be outside, “even on drizzly days,” despite the fact that he lives in a very dreary city where must people prefer to stay indoors. One day during his exploring, he finds an elevated train track where there is a “lonely patch of color”–a few wildlflowers and plants growing there despite the adverse conditions. Liam decides to become their caretaker, and over time with his care, this little garden becomes “curious”–that is, it begins to spread. By the end of the story, the people in this formerly grey and depressing city are “cooperating with nature” instead of trying to keep it out. I suppose there is an environmental message in here somewhere, but it’s very subtle. Peter Brown’s illustrations are as important as his words in this story. His color palette is perfect for the tone of the book. I like this one a lot! My girls like it, too, which is always a plus for a read-aloud. The Curious Garden is a new book, just published this year. If you’d like to read more about this young author and artist, visit his really neat website.
Simple is good, right? Right. Every Friday, written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, is simplicity itself. It’s the sweet story of a father and his small son who have breakfast at a diner “every Friday.” The book details their walk to the diner and what and whom they encounter along the way. The book is a nod to the simple joys of family and the importance of traditions. The illustrations remind me of “Leave It to Beaver” or some other fifties-era television program. It turns out that Dan Yaccarino is no slouch when it comes to illustration–he has several television programs to his credit, including “The Backyardigans”. Although books outnumber televisions in our home by 1000 to 1 (both literally and figuratively in terms of importance), I must admit that Dan Yaccarino is a talented author and illustrator, and this book earns a “highly recommended” from me!
So what have you been reading together as a family? Please leave a comment or a link to your blog where you share your own “Read Aloud Thursday”!