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On the Shelf: Worth a Thousand Words

This month’s wonderful books rely as much on detailed, frame-worthy illustrations as text to tell their tales. Engage children in visual art in a way that is natural and easy – through a good story with pictures they won’t forget.

Prairie Days by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Micha Archer (Margaret K. McElderry Books, age 4 – 8)

This sweet, old fashioned setting showcases life filled with simple pleasures. The illustrations are vivid and unique, bringing seemingly endless details and designs to the page that will keep even the youngest readers enthralled. 

Flower Power – The Magic of Nature’s Helpers, by Christine Paxmann and illustrated by Olaf Hajek (Prestel Books, ages 8 – 12)

This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen for any age. Learn the details and a wealth of facts about all sorts of flowers while you rest your eyes in the beauty of this museum in a book. It’s a delight for elementary ages through adult. 

Pets and Their Famous Humans, by Ana Gallo and illustrated by Katherine Quinn (Prestel Books, ages 7 – 10)

Here’s a unique way to learn about a full slate of biographies in a way that can engage reluctant readers: simply start with their pets. How about getting familiar with Henri Matisse by learning about his black cat, Puce? Or Sigmund Freud’s dog, Jofi, or Mozart’s pet starling? Creative illustrations add another layer to these tales.

The Blue Giant, by Katie Cottle (Pavilion Books, ages 3 – 6)

The ocean comes alive in this environmental story that shares a powerful message through beautiful details. Make ocean-friendly living the norm from the start by helping little ones understand their connection to sea. 

It’s a Great Big Colorful World, by Tom Schamp (Prestel Books, ages 2 – 5)

Don’t be fooled by the age recommendation on this gorgeous book. Individual colors each have four pages detailing a world of items in various shades. Even gray comes alive here. The youngest lap readers can search for details and build vocabulary, while parents can take a mental break while looking, too. 

The Seedling That Didn’t Want to Grow, by Britta Teckentrup (Prestel Books, ages 3 – 7) 

This softly illustrated, gorgeous book is the perfect bedtime reading to help little ones prepare for the changing of the seasons. Fall and winter will be here before you know it, but spring is coming again.