Honors for "favorite book" change constantly in Clementine-land, of course, but some stick around longer than others. These current faves are great because Jim and I don't get sick of them! First, Crafty Chloe by Kelly Di Pucchio (who also wrote the adorable Zombie In Love, currently a CCBA contender), and illustrated by Heather Ross.
It's a great book about the virtues of making rather than buying gifts for people. It's funny and wonderful, and Clementine knows it by heart. The illustration above shows the horror-reaction of the snooty girl, London, on hearing that Chloe is going to make a gift for their friend's birthday. So cute. (I also love *SPOILER ALERT* that London comes around, Chloe isn't vindictive when she could be, and it's all-around sweet in a non-cloying way. Yay!
Here's C with a friend's daughter, Kestrel, age 9, reading Chloe at Powell's:
(Heart goes pitter-pat.)
Continuing with the wonderful theme of craftiness, Holly Hobbie's Fanny books. Holly Hobbie is a house favorite. We have all of her books, and Fanny is currently edging out Toot & Puddle (though Everything But the Horse is a fave too.) Like Chloe, Fanny is a crafty kid. When her mom refuses on principle to buy her a "Connie" (read: Barbie) doll, she makes her own doll, Annabelle. Like London, her friends aren't too keen on handmade, though *SPOILER ALERT* they come around too.
Here's Fanny sewing. Love it:
It's fun to find the Puddle toy in Fanny's room, and also she has Calico Critters! :-)
Here's the sequel, Fanny & Annabelle, in which Fanny writes and illustrates a book starring her doll.
Love love love. Holly Hobbie's art is sooooo gorgeous. Incidentally, her Toot & Puddle book Let It Snow is also about making versus buying gifts for loved ones.
I hope Clementine will love crafts!
Next, up ... TOTORO! My Neighbor Totoro, I'm sure you know it.
Clementine hasn't seen the movie, though she did see her first-ever movie last week and it was The Secret World of Arrietty, also by Hayao Miyazaki (which I had seen and knew it wasn't too scary for toddlers) and she loved it. So when she and Jim spotted this great hardbound Totoro picture book at the comic book store they snapped it up, and it's been instant love. One reading and she was spreading her arms and crying, "Mei, we're the wind!" Love. So thrilled to hear the Northwest Film Center is having a Miyazaki Festival in May and showing ALL his movies. Yay!
Last up for today, Sketch Monsters, a graphic novel for kids by Portland writer Joshua Williamson, illustrated by Vinny Navarette. This we also picked up at the comic book store (hi Cosmic Monkey!) though I take credit for the find this time.
In Sketch Monsters, Mandy is a young girl who bottles up her feelings, and when she draws them all as monsters in her new sketchbook, they escape! There's a fear monster, a love monster, a silly monkey monster, a sad monster, a grumpy-nasty monster, and the Happster, shown below left drawing on the wall. Love the Happster.
Clementine knows alarming portions of this one by heart as well. What would you not give for a toddler memory? It's uncanny what the kid remembers after one reading. Yow.
What are your favorite kids books these days?