Childrens books

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, Tauntr.com 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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Martin Amis Would Need Brain Damage to Write Children’s Books

According to acclaimed British novelist Martin Amis, he would only ever write a children’s book if he suffered brain damage. Okay. Well, the actual quote, delivered to Sebastian Faulks on the BBC, was “If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children’s book, but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you’re directing the story to in anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable… I would never write about someone that forced me to write at a lower register than what I can write.” Oh, come on, Martin Amis. … Read More

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15 Children’s Books Written by Famous People

Barack Obama, leader of the free world and winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, can now add children’s book author to his resume: Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters, a picture book penned by the President, hit bookstores yesterday. Written in 2008 after the election but before Obama took office, the book tells the story of 13 American heroes and heroines, including Albert Einstein, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But he’s hardly the first celebrity who has delved into kiddie lit. Here are 15 more children’s book authors you might know from elsewhere. … Read More

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Our Favorite Redheaded Children’s Book Heroines

We’ve confessed our love for gingers before. But what we failed to mention is that the sentiment extends way beyond our current obsession with pop culture icons like Molly Ringwald and Conan O’Brien all the way back to childhood. Our favorite books to read back in elementary school always featured redheaded heroines. Why? Because they were just more interesting. Here’s proof. … Read More

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Daily Dose Pick: SteamPotVille

Manipulating digital images of animals in surreal environments, Steve Ouch created the visual wonderland of SteamPotVille, a children’s book with the attention-grabbing power of a magic-eye poster.

While the story of a world turned upside-down is sure to capture any kid’s imagination, it’s the fantastical fish-eye imagery that will keep you (and them) coming back. Each two-page spread is a detail-rich labor of love, with new elements revealing themselves on repeated reads. … Read More

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