These are — hands down — the cutest books ever. Ever. EVER.
In case I’m not making my point clearly, let me explain…
I happened upon “In My Pond” on one of our many pre-JJ shopping sprees. I was immediately smitten by the wonderful illustration style. I was further smitten by the adorable die cut holes getting smaller with each page, revealing different scenes and all the while featuring a delightful felt fish that leads you through the story.
You can imagine my surprise (I think there was squealing involved) when I got home and realized the little felt fish WAS A FINGER PUPPET. You put your finger through a hole in the back and wiggle the little goldfish while reading the book, turning the page with your other hand.* Smittenest.
And then I discovered there was a whole line of these winsome** board books, which I have since purchased like they were crack, two and three at a time. Even as I started pulling images from the internet to write this post, I learned about two more that have come out since I scored my last book.
Truth be told, it’s almost painful how much I adore these books. And I freely admit that I’m jealous I didn’t create them, as illustrating and writing children’s books is a dream of mine. (Any publishers reading this, please click on the word CONTACT over there to the right…)
One last, and maybe most important feature of these books — each story ends with the baby animal in their home (be it nest, pond, den, tree, flower, meadow, patch, forest, jungle or ocean) surrounded by their parents, ending their adventures with the phrase “…with my family!” What I found particularly special about this is that the two “parents” don’t have gender-specific features (like eyelashes, bow ties, etc) to show they are “mommy” and “daddy.” Just two loving PARENTS. This allows me to read these to my son, pointing out at the end which bird, fish, bear… (okay, you get the picture) represents Papa and which represents Daddy, without it being at all confusing to him. Other than the fact that we’re, you know, animals.
**I had to consult a thesaurus several time for this post, as I was running out of adjectives synonymous with “cute.”
Okay, what’s YOUR favorite kids book?