We discovered French illustrator, Alain Grée‘s, books in the library a couple of months ago and I had one of those amazing moments when you chance upon a book by accident that you know you are going to love FOREVER. The gorgeous retro feel of his illustrations makes me feel as though these books have actually been snaffled from my own haul of loft treasures and I’ve read them so many times that I actually sort of feel like I’ve known them since my own childhood anyway.
I’ve become even more attached to the books since H said one of his first (and thus far, only) words while reading the book about nature. Despite being over two years old now, he doesn’t get much of a chance to chat as C provides a pretty much non-stop running commentary on everything from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep, but even without that I think he’s someone who likes to observe for a while before joining in. Plus, he’s REALLY stubborn and I think there’s a strong chance he knows we’d like him to talk a little, so he’s deliberately avoiding it 😉
Anyhoo, during our reading of this book (punctuated by a lot of oooohs and ahhhhs of delight from me) he just pointed at the deer and said ‘deer’. He was three months old and asleep at the only point in real life that we’ve come close to a deer and we haven’t read that many stories that feature them, but for some reason he chose that word to share with us.
After that, I simply had to get hold of some of the other titles in the series (published by Button Books) and although we’ve not had much more in the way of additional words being spoken, we have had a LOT of fun looking through these wonderful books. Though they could easily be used as very stylish vocab books (in particular, ‘Alphabet’), they are actually so much more than that and we’ve had hours of fun already just poring over selected spreads. In order to share the love, we’ve chosen a few of our favourites for you to enjoy.
This book actually taught me something about how a car works and the boys definitely appreciated a chance to see the more technical side of the featured vehicles. Whilst it’s all very child-friendly, there is a lot more detail here than I’ve seen in any of the other transport-related books that we’ve read (actually quite a large sample).
Obviously I had to feature the page with the famous deer, though it was quite tough to choose between all the beautiful spreads contained within this book (and there are even owls – YAYYYYY!). As with ‘Transport’, there are a lot of extras, including some great snippets of information about farms, seasides, woodlands, etc., along with questions posed to the reader related to the pictures.
It seems unfair to label this book as ‘just’ lists of words, even though technically that it what it contains. However, there are a variety of words for each letter and, of course, they are all beautifully illustrated. C and H insisted that I included their namesake letters as examples:
Each spread is called out to me to play Granny’s game of making up a story based around three random objects and I can’t wait to try that out with the boys. I’ll have to pick my moment though, as currently they just adore poring over each page and soaking in the loveliness!
These are books that can – and should – be used daily and they even have wall posters on the inside of the dust jackets, but they are also calling out to be treasured (in the loft, perhaps?!) and passed on to children and grandchildren in the future. Truly treat-worthy texts 🙂
Disclaimer: I received my copies of these books from the publisher. I was not asked to write this post, nor was I given any money for doing so, and the review represents my own honest opinion.