Childrens books

The 20 Most Beautiful Children’s Books of All Time

[Editor’s note: It’s Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we’re leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran July 9th.] Ever since Chris Van Allsburg’s birthday last month, we’ve been feeling a surge of appreciation for the plethora of beautiful picture books in our lives. In fact, we think some of the loveliest illustrations we’ve ever seen have been in books (or maybe that’s just the association with a great story talking), so we decided to round up a few of the most beautiful children’s books — at least according to us. Keep in mind: we’re going for beauty, not iconic status — so Tenniel’s Alice drawings and a few other iconic, innovative illustrations, while dear to us, don’t make the cut. Leaf through our picks for the most mindblowingly beautiful picture books after the jump, and since we can only draw from our own personal knowledge and tastes, and we know there are scores upon scores of gorgeous children’s books out there (thank goodness), be sure to add any other favorites of yours to our list in the comments! … Read More

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10 of the Most Terrifying Children’s Books From Around the World

This week, we checked out a series of totally terrifying French children’s books over at The Guardian, but we weren’t satisfied with just letting the French frighten us. We scoured the web for other incredibly scary (whether intentionally or not) illustrations from children’s books, from cautionary tales for bad kids to books of highly unusual monsters, to stories of um, let’s say questionable morality. Of course, many of the illustrations are fantastic, so we love them for their macabre beauty, but that said, we wouldn’t necessarily want these books read to us before we tried to traipse off to dreamland. Click through to peek inside ten of the most terrifying children’s books from all around the world, and let us know if we missed the one that gave you chills in the comments. … Read More

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Classic Video Games Reimagined as Children’s Books

If you’re trying to lure your video game-obsessed children back to reading — or, um, vice versa — you may have some use for these clever classic video games reimagined as children’s books, illustrated by Caldwell Tanner, who also happens to be the man behind these hilarious imagined sci-fi children’s books. After all, video games and early reader children’s books have more in common than you might think, and some of these actually look like pretty good reads. Click through to see the video game kids’ book mashups, and then make sure to head over to Tanner’s website to check out more of his cartoons and illustration work. … Read More

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Storybook Fantasies: 10 Classic Children’s Fairy Tale Illustrators

In a world where it’s not uncommon for children to own electronic devices that are far superior to the phones the rest of us have been holding together with duct tape until our next paycheck, International Children’s Book Day is a beacon of hope. The celebration honors the import role reading plays in healthy child development, aiming to instill a lifelong love of printed works for young bookworms across the world. The event coincides with Hans Christian Andersen‘s birthday — the Danish author whose fairy tale gems like The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Snow Queen have delighted the minds and hearts of readers big and small.

Children’s storybook illustrators have been bringing the tales of Andersen and other authors to life for eons, offering an imaginative entryway into each fable’s unique universe — many of the artworks now inseparable from the books. With this in mind, we wanted to share the incredible creations of several famed fairy tale illustrators. Click through for more, and tell us who captures your imagination most in the comments section. … Read More

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Our Favorite Children’s Book Illustrators Working Today

Last week, we posted a gallery of stunning vintage illustrations from classic children’s books — which only whetted our appetite for more. We went searching for their contemporary counterparts and ended up excavating a treasure trove of illustration eye candy as delicious as the stories that share its pages. From the artists behind our beloved ’80s and ’90s classics to newer names on the scene, we can’t take our eyes off these gorgeous works by our favorite illustrators working today. Partial to anyone we didn’t mention? Add them in the comments. … Read More

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Vintage Covers of ‘The Phantom Tollbooth’ From All Over the World

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Norton Juster’s classic surreal children’s book, The Phantom Tollbooth, so needless to say we plan to spend it reminiscing about bored Milo heading off towards the Mountains of Ignorance, with Tock the trusty watchdog at his side. We think The Phantom Tollbooth, which we read when we were children, is one of those stories that will just always be relevant. As the New Yorker noted, “the fifty-year birthday of a good children’s book marks a real passage, since it means that the book hasn’t been passed just from parent to child but from parent to child and on to child again.”

The cover art is just as iconic, though it has changed as the book has been published in various languages and in various years. We have to admit that we don’t think any of the covers improved very much on the original — and we think the publishers agree with us, considering the number of times it has been reprinted in its traditional blue garb — but there have definitely been a few variations worth taking a look at, if only for nostalgia’s sake. Click through to see our roundup of Phantom Tollbooth covers from the past fifty years, and then we suggest you cuddle up in bed with a familiar blue (or white or peach or purple) book. … Read More

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Stan Lee Launches a New Children’s Imprint

The legendary comic mogul Stan Lee has teamed up with publisher 1821 Comics to create a new imprint just for kids, entitled “Stan Lee’s Kid’s Universe.” Of the project, Lee explained, “Our main purpose is we feel that there aren’t enough comic books or books for kids that really hit the target, that gives them excitement… Read More

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Mr. Men and Little Miss Books, All Grown Up and Scandalous

For a few generations now, Roger Hargreaves’ funny Mr. Men and Little Miss books have been teaching kids about all kinds of annoying people, from Mr. Nosey to Little Miss Fickle. (Yes, there are gender-based critiques to be made of these stories; no, we’re not going to make them here.) This is all well and good, but where does this leave adults, who often have to deal with entirely different types of irritating characters? Thankfully, has come up with a handful of cover designs for grown-up editions, featuring such characters as Mr. Chill, who “was never considered cool until he bought beer for his 16 year old’s friends and let them smoke marijuana on the patio,” and Little Miss Infidelity — an older Little Miss Naughty, because “everyone grows up and has little kids just like you. Even whores.” … Read More

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We’re Not Sure If We Want to Read the Scratch-n-Sniff NYC Book

New York has been immortalized over and over again in literature — but never quite like this. The folks over at Good recently alerted us to the existence of a strange (and smelly) new children’s book, New York, Phew York: A Scratch-N-Sniff Adventure, which is, you guessed it, a scratch-n-sniff tour of New… Read More

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Our New Favorite Kids Book: Goodnight Dune

Who said good art never came out of random comments on the internet? Goodnight Dune, a crazy cool mash-up of the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon and the David Lynch movie version of Dune, was born when cartoonist Julia Yu was poking around the internet and came across this College Humor article, linked from a Reddit post with a comment imploring someone to actually write an illustrate the parody book. Yu decided to go for it, and she was clearly up to the task – her version of Goodnight Dune is a winning combination of visual film references, classic Dune language, and winking nostalgia. We predict that sci-fi lit nerd dads will be reading this to their toddlers and chuckling to themselves sometime very soon. Click through to see pages from the book and visit Yu’s awesome website for more information. … Read More

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