Picture book time! The roundup of two different but equally marvelous books are below. They are for all ages, but best for the older (at least five and up) child, but adults please note that these two books are a must read for you. Maybe you will not learn something (though the second does have a bit of gender commentary) but you should find something to be in awe over. The artwork alone is worth the price of admission!
Before I Grew Up has some of the loveliest illustrations. Giuliano Cucco created soft, whimsical and in the style of dreams. These were images that had never seen before that his family, while working with John Miller, used. This is a story about how Cucco became an Artist. The tone of a story shows the inspirations a young artist had while growing up. The contrasts between reality and adult and imagination and child come about. An author’s afterwards ties past, present, and even to a point, the future. Read it, get several copies, keep one for yourself and gift it. And when you have a collection of them, keep on giving. Deserves all awards it has gotten or will get!
In full disclosure, I was reading The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story at work and did not finish. I had planned on skimming it but got carried away. Realizing this is a book you must sit down and be comfortable to read made me put the book down. However, as soon as I can, I will pick up this gem by Maria Popova and finish it. Yet the handful of pages I did read made me gasp at the poetic imagery. The illustrations are bold and fantastical, and Ping Zhu knows how to put details and colors together and puts careful thought into each one. Marvel at where the story is heading and will head via both art and text. Science, nature, and the poetic nature of them come together. Worthy of all the awards it has gotten or will achieve!