Helen Ahpornsiri’s Drawn from Nature might be the most beautiful children’s book we’ve ever read. (And we’ve read a lot of them over the years.)
Ahpornsiri uses plants pressed by hand to lead the reader through the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. The text itself is informative and lyrical, but the artwork is stunning.
Here are some pictures:
I can’t imagine how long it takes to illustrate a book (let alone do one page!) with hand-pressed plants. This 64-page book invites staring and wonder at the beauty of creation… not just that Ahpornsiri created from pressed plants, but how she did it. The creations that emerge are gorgeous.
My kids have gotten lost in this book already, as have I. It’s really fun to read a section at bedtime, but any child—reader or not—can easily find themselves swept up in these pages.
You can go here to look inside. Find the book at Amazon here, or through its publisher here.
Thanks to the good folks at Candlewick/Big Picture Press for sending the book for review, though that did not influence my opinions.
Some of the best book gifts our oldest child has received have been Maps and Animalium from Big Picture Press, an imprint of Candlewick.
Our kids have also spent many collective minutes and hours poring over two books from The World of Mamoko series: The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000 and The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons.
The premise of Mamoko is simple: “Use your eyes!” to “follow the adventures” of more than two dozen different characters through seven detailed spreads that span two pages each. The books are hardback, like giant board books, so they’ll last us a long time. The target age range is 5-8 years old, but my four-year-old (who can’t yet read) really enjoys looking at the pictures, too.
Here’s a spread from World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons:
It’s lots of fun. There are short descriptions of each character that help in knowing what to look for. For example, a pink elephant (holding a hammer?) is Othello Smith:
OTHELLO SMITH is feeling bummed out. What is the cause of his distress?
The book is pretty funny. And it’s big enough that, like the Where’s Waldo? books, two people can easily look for characters and their antics at the same time.
But I told Candlewick my kids would help me review these two books, and a promise is a promise, so… here are my nine-year-old’s review notes from The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000:
And here’s his short take on The World of Mamoko in the Time of Dragons:
You can find all three Mamoko titles at Candlewick’s page here. They’re also available at Amazon here.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the review copies, given with no expectation as to the content of the review.