In our house we have books coming out of our ears. They are on every flat surface, including the couches. They are in every room, including the closets. And yet, whenever we go to the library, we feel like we need more! So you’d think by now we would have seen it all, but I’m always pleasantly surprised to find so many new, creative books for kids on the shelves. Here are some of our favorites. I especially love that these are ones that really feed their curiosity and exploration of the world and its possibilities. What are you reading with your kids lately?
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Creative Books for Curious Kids
We love Cityblock, the latest in the Alphablock series! My little ones were thrilled to explore such a richly detailed cityscape, especially the shaped pages with the peek-a-book cutouts. There is so much to look at in this book that they can spend long periods peering at its pictures and figuring out the different ways the pages open and fit together. I love to find such creative books for the very young. Great for curious little readers!
All My Treasures: A Book of Joy is a really lovely book to teach kids about what is really important. A young girl wants to put all of her treasures in a special porcelain box, but she discovers that what she truly values – jumping in puddles, blowing bubbles, her friends’ giggles, cuddling with her family – cannot be contained in a box! My three year old loves this book because of all the lift-the-flaps on each page, especially because they are all unusual ones and you never know what will be under the flap! Even my six year old and I had fun hunting for them. Everything about this book is SPECIAL, from the huge sparkly cut-out star on the cover to the carefully shaped flaps and whimsical illustrations inside, all underscoring the book’s message about valuing the beautiful treasures of the heart.
Do you have a budding scientist at your house? A kid whose curiosity leads her to pull your house apart and generally wreak havoc, all in the pursuit of (ahem) science? Then Ada Twist, Scientist is the book for you! It’s a wonderfully funny celebration of curiosity and getting the bottom of a good mystery, like where in the world that stinky smell is coming from! (It’s the socks, Ada!!) Ada Twist is a junior scientist straight from the start, climbing all over the furniture as a baby and tearing apart the house as a toddler. She soon discovers a great mystery to be solved, and her parents learn as best they can how to support her relentless curiosity. A great book for any parent who has had to answer “Why? Why? Why?” all day long, or who wants to encourage their child (especially girls and kids of color) to be persistent and always follow their curiosity.
Another Ada also makes her appearance in this list, but this time it’s in the story of the real life Ada Lovelace, the world’ first computer programmer. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of a mathematician and the great poet Lord Byron. Her parents separated when Ada was young, however, and her mother was determined to stamp out Ada’s dreaminess, which reminded her mother of her estranged father. Yet Ada turned the math and logic of her education into its own kind of poetry, and, despite the obstacles facing her from the times in which she lived, became such an accomplished mathematician that she developed a partnership with the acclaimed Charles Babbage, eventually completing the complex programming for Babbage’s calculating machine, the precursor to today’s computers. Obviously I love Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer for the true story of determination and boundless curiosity, particularly as a woman, but I also adore the engaging way her story is told and in particular the incredibly inventive illustrations. I love, for example, the spread of young Ada climbing in a huge machine to show her fascination with the inventions of her time, or the poignant drawing of Ada peeking around a curtain to see a young girl in modern times reading Ada’s Ideas on her iPad. Beautiful book to share about this often overlooked figure in history.