It's blastoff time for World Space Week. Here are some of the earthly ways we're celebrating.
Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space by Dominic Walkman and Ben Newman
This is a non-fiction treasure written by a quantum computer scientist. Professor Astro Cat teaches you about our solar system, gravity, space travel, extraterrestrials and more — illustrated with in a charming mid-century sensibility. It puts cosmic concepts into terms kids understand, while inspiring little imaginations in ways only the wonders of outer space can do.
Next Stop Grand Central by Maira Kalman
What a brilliant concept for a children’s book, capturing the excitement of Grand Central Station. With 500,000 people passing through each day, Kalman introduces us to dozens of the best characters — like the Oblensky twins who are going to tap dancing class in Carnegie Hall; the woman with the blue pancake hat who is going to Chinatown to buy Poo Nik Tea; Ervin Pil who will grow up to be a famous scientist because he eats beets every day; and George Coppola the chief of police who keeps the place safe from no-goodniks. Written and illustrated in a wonderfully colorful, clever, quirky way, it sparks questions and inspires imaginations. "Trains are trips. And trips are adventures. And adventures are new ideas and romance and you can't ever know what in the world will happen which is exactly why you are going.” Yes.
With tales of lonely ghosts, cheerful witches, monster friends and creepy vegetables, these Halloween reads help us get in the spooky spirit.
Home by Carson Ellis
We’re fans of Carson Ellis from her work as the artist for the band the Decemberists, so we were thrilled to find this picture book. Not surprisingly, it’s beautifully illustrated and hand-lettered. It takes readers through many different types of places that people call home — whether a house in the country, an apartment, a wigwam or a shoe. Ellis illustrates the home of a Slovakian duchess, a Kenyan blacksmith, a Japanese businessman, a Norse god, a raccoon, and more. It’s a coffee table display book that our kids love to explore.
Ho, there! Talk Like a Pirate Day is almost here (Sept. 19), and we’re ready to celebrate.
Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein & Matthias Arégui
This beautiful, artful book has no words, just pictures. Each spread shows a pair of before-and-after illustrations: an acorn and a tree, a slingshot and a broken window, a baby gorilla and King Kong, an egg and a chicken, then a chicken and an egg. What happened in-between? It makes for a fun way to spark storytelling. Our copy ended up on the coffee table, and our kids pick it up again and again.
My Dad Is Big and Strong, But... by Coralie Saudro and Kris Di Giacomo
For those with a less than smooth bedtime routine, try this comic role reversal of a boy whose dad never wants to go to bed. The boy tries everything, but his dad won’t cooperate. He stands on his head. He swings from the chandelier. Then the boy reads him a story (with Dad on his lap!), and that seems to do the trick. But he wants to hear it again. And again. Eventually, the boy finally gets him to go to sleep. Sound familiar?