With such a multitude of colouring and activity books out there, it can sometimes be hard to see the wood for the trees. Here are six books we think deserve some sign-posting.
Ruth Wivell embraces the universal experience of queuing in Japanese illustrator Tomoko Ohmura’s entertaining book, Line Up, Please!
Alice Bowsher’s risograph-printed book, Curious, reflects the creative autonomy afforded to artists by independent press and design studio, Hato Press.
Ruth Wivell tackles the tricky subject of race in a reading of Dahlov Ipcar’s 1963 Black and White, a beautifully illustrated book for children inspired by the civil rights movement.
Writer and illustrator Rilla Alexander regularly shares her experience of book-making with children and teenagers. Here she describes techniques for helping others develop their ideas into fully fledged book projects, and offers tips on working within the limits of our own abilities.
Sara Rawlinson appreciates the intensely animated pages of Aino-Maija Metsola’s stylishly illustrated The Learning Garden.
JiHyeon Lee’s beautifully illustrated wordless picture book, Pool, celebrates the boundlessness of the imagination and conveys the possibility of shared imaginative experiences.
Amandine Alessandra and Rute Nieto Ferreira of Tower Block Books describe the process of creating their risograph-printed book for children, The Big Letter Hunt.
Anna Ridley recommends a selection of well-designed books for babies that use the robust board book format purposefully and to great advantage.
Sara Rawlinson and her daughter go the distance discovering the world through Lucy Letherland’s beautifully illustrated and detail-laden Atlas of Adventures.
Ruth Wivell appreciates Heinz Janisch’s short philosophical reflections illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch in this profound book by the award-winning German duo.
Her Idea is an empowering celebration of tenacity, determination and creative intelligence, through which author Rilla Alexander sparks copious amounts of inspiration.
Philosophical picture books that allow children to ask questions and explore a variety of answers are a great way to encourage intellectual inquiry from an early age.
Toon Tellegen’s philosophical tales for children portray the complexity of human emotions through a cast of surprisingly human animal characters illustrated by Marc Boutavant.