I've probably read thousands of children's books over the years but there are a very few that stick with me. If you're looking to give your kids the best, cream of the crop, kids book experience and may be a bit overwhelmed at the vast selection online and in bookstores, ask your friends. Seriously, reviews on Goodreads and Amazon may not give you the best advice. You most likely don't know the people giving reviews and can't really trust that their tastes and your tastes are remotely similar. Odds are your friends will give you the perfect advice you need.
If you don't have any friends or friends with kids I'm starting a new review series of my personal favorites. You can trust that no one asked me for my opinion but they're going to get it! Ha! Just kidding, I'm actually very nice when I've had some sleep and a chai tea and an almond scone wouldn't hurt either...
Well hears my first review. Enjoy!
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Who would have thought a guy that makes some of the creepiest photographs could be a children's book writer. Really, Shel Silverstein is about as photogenic as a zombie's drivers license and he doesn't care. You know, good for him. They put a huge picture of him grimacing (that may be his version of a smile because I've never seen a pic of him smiling) on the the back of the hardcover book I got. He's obviously got a wonderful weird sense of humor for which he gets his first star.
The second star is for being a dude but making a book to make kids appreciate their moms. He's either a big momma's boy or had a lovely unappreciated mother he wanted to make it up to. Either way, his mom is probably very proud. I haven't researched his life so he could be a horrible demented person but the message in the book is clearly positive.
The third star is for illustration that encourages my son to color. Not that I'd let him color in this book but every time he sees the black and white illustration he feels the need to color something. The minimal art is classic and relaxing next to some of the eye bursting, over the top art in some cartoons today. There is nothing here that makes a kid want to jump on their bed before sleepy time. For helping a kid relax, one more star.
The last star is for gift-ability. That means I can give this to anyone for a birthday, Christmas, baby shower, etc and it holds a classic, nostalgic, cozy value that makes it a better gift than some plastic thing they'll break in a week.