You see a bug with a cool green body skittering across a picnic table. It stops and seems to be staring at you.
Imagine lying in your hammock, completely spellbound by an amazing book, during a beautiful summer afternoon. Crickets are chirping, a soft breeze is blowing, and you are so relaxed (or, maybe if you're reading a thriller, on edge--but in a good way). Or, perhaps you are a parent longing for fun and free entertainment for your kids during a quiet afternoon or to refresh your family's library with a new batch of books and DVDs to enjoy together.
Every Wednesday night when I was a child, I would put on my most old-fashioned nightgown and the bonnet my mother had sewn and watch Little House on the Prairie. I received the Garth Williams illustrated books as a Christmas present and read them repeatedly. Little did I know, but I was “geeking” out and “cosplaying” (short for costume play.) Recently, I watched a Little House reunion on TV and was enthralled by all three hours, and, no, I didn’t wear my bonnet. The only thing that would have made it better was having someone to share it with.
Even without a visit to a local art museum, young children can be exposed to great art. Picture books offer not just great stories, but are a feast of color, movement, and images that stimulate not only children’s brains, but also their creativity. When selecting these books, make a conscious effort to choose a variety of styles, not just those that immediately appeal to you, and let your child pick some as well. Broad exposure will excite the imagination! In the following titles, art and story combine for terrific and creative books that are bound to inspire.