As Halloween decorations become a faint memory, store windows in my neighborhood are already transformed into Christmas scenes. It’s not even Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping season has begun. I don’t like to feel pressured, but I do begin to pick up a couple of presents as I come across beautiful and unique items now.
One of those beautiful things are books from the New York Children’s Collection. I was gifted books from this collection and they are gorgeous. This publisher finds unique, award winning, out-of-print titles that feature timeless tales and illustrations that keep your eyes fixed to the pages. The books are hard covered with color coordinated bindings and high quality papers – perfect for gifting occasions.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the NY Children’s Collection has a easy-to-navigate website that lets you shop for titles by three age segments (3-7 years, 5-12 years and 8-14 years) and provides in-depth bios of the authors and illustrators. Most titles cost a very reasonable price of between $12 and $15.
I had the opportunity to receive three titles from the NY Children’s Collection. The first was Smith: The Story of the Pickpocket by Leon Garfield. The book was first published in 1967 and received multiple awards, such as the Phoenix Award and Carnegie Medal of Honor. I read the book on my own since my kids are a bit too young and it was a great escape. The story centers on Smith, an orphaned pickpocket in 18th century London, and the mystery he inadvertently becomes a part of when he picks the wrong mark. I don’t get to read much these days and it was a really fun adventure that I would recommend to kids in 4th or 5th grades. The historical references can be challenging, but were certainly worth the effort.
The second and third titles are written and illustrated by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. According to the website bio, Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire met at art school in Munich in 1921. Edgar’s father was a noted Italian portrait painter, his mother a Parisian. Ingri, the youngest of five children, traced her lineage back to the Viking kings.
The d’Aulaires published their first children’s book in 1931 in New York. I got to share two of their many titles – D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths and Animals.
The Animals book by the d’Aulaires lets the reader flip the pages one at time or pull it out to extend it into a long train of beautifully drawn colorful animals. Turn it over and there are intricate black and write etchings of animals at night. It’s so amazing that I am protecting it from my 21 month old, but my five-year-old son was as fixated as I was on the boundless detail for each animal. A book we will be returning to for many bedtimes to come.
That’s IT Mommy Jill