I love love love a good storybook. There’s nothing better than curling up with a little bundle of sweetness on your lap and pouring over pages filled with rich adventure and beautiful art. The Wildflower especially loves to read and snuggle (The Firely has moved on to “big girl” chapter books), so we’ve had some special moments pouring over page after illustrated page. Here are a few of our favorites lately.
Lucilla and the Snarly Skein
My bestie surprised me with an autographed copy of this. It’s dear to me for that reason alone, plus “Lucilla” is one of the Wildflower’s nicknames. The author, Amy Grimes, is one of my very favorite artists. She lives locally, and I may have ugly cried on her shoulder when we met. It was a very dignified moment for me.
I love everything about this book, but the message is especially wonderful. There are thousands of books that teach a child “you can do anything if you dream big and try hard.” That’s all well and good if you’re trying to make it to the Olympics, but what about overcoming addiction or depression? How do you will your way through abuse, loneliness, or doubt? This book answers that in a gentle, playful way. Lucilla finds herself hopelessly tangled in a problem she can’t fix alone, but the good king sends messengers and helpers, and eventually brings her to himself, where she finds freedom and relief. It’s a rich story of redemption and rescue, and a sweet reminder of how to come alongside the lost and tangled around us.
Hortense and the Shadow
This is the book debut of sisters Natalia and Lauren O’Hara and I can’t wait to see what they put out next. The illustrations are stunning- a beautiful mix of soft watercolor and rose-gold foil highlights. Each page is a joy to look at.
In this story, Hortense feels all is perfectly well with her world, that is, everything except her shadow. She does whatever she can to distance herself from her shadow, only to learn that instead of a foe, her shadow was indeed a help and protection to her. There are shadows in our pasts that we all wish we could separate ourselves from, but this story is a reminder that these shadows bring us a wisdom and protection that we would be lost without.
Wee Sister Strange
I just finished reading Auralia’s Colors by Jeffery Overstreet (highly recommend!), and as I read it, I wished someone would write a children’s adaptation. Imagine my delight when I saw this on the library’s shelf and peeked at the main character. I don’t think the author, Holly Grant, has any knowledge of Overstreet’s work, so it makes the resemblance even more exciting.
The main character is a little girl who spends her days adventuring in the wilderness, marveling in the beauty and wonder around her. She feels, though, that something is missing in her world. This longing finds an answer in making the profound discovery of being caught up in a story bigger than herself.
So now you know what’s been on our shelves lately. Let me know what books you’ve enjoyed recently!