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children’s book recommendations

11 February 2009

I get tired in the quest to find some great reads for my mini-me (22 months old) — there are too many choices, and most of those either don’t catch her attention or are uninteresting to me. More than that, the majority of children’s books have male characters (Curious George and Arthur are some popular examples, and they’re both PBS). Lucky me, I live in crunchy Cambridge, where the librarians care enough to stock titles that reflect our diverse city.

There are two particular books I checked out last week that were recently published that I strongly recommend. Mini-me likes them both; I think because the proportion of words to picture is just right for her age and because the pictures are simple. I like them both because of the poetry I get to read and the images are striking.

The first is Up and Down the Andes printed by Barefoot Books. Here’s a snapshot from inside the book:

The second is The Negro Speaks of Rivers — yes the famous poem by Langston Hughes is now a children’s book, published by Hyperion in celebration of Black History Month. Here’s a shot of the cover, which borrows an image from inside the book:

It just feels nice to read  Langston Hughes aloud — and to be reading his poetry to your kid… well, there’s no words for that.

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