Something to treasure… something to hold

Today has not been a typical (if there ever is such a thing) school day in our house. My husband arrived home from a work trip this morning and we had a brand new nephew to go and visit. Both very special moments for the children! Even our “curly sue” (2yrs) was attentive and gentle in her approach to the beautiful new addition to our extended family. So I thought today I would share something that is very close to my heart…. Beautiful books!

Every morning growing up, my dad would wake us up and we would dive into their cosy warm bed for a cuddle with mum, a cup of tea and a bible story. We had a truly wonderful children’s bible which brought to life the stories, not in a simplified form, but with at times quite powerful images. I am a visual learner and an artist at heart so am drawn to things of beauty especially illustrations in books. A well composed story with beautiful language comes to life in a magical way when paired with inspired illustrations!

Today, so many people are turning more and more to electronic reading devices. These are a great tool for when you are out on the road or you don’t have space or money for an extensive book collection. As much as I am enamoured by these technological advances I feel pulled, drawn back, wooed by the bound and tangible book. I don’t get that sense of excitement or anticipation flicking through titles online that I do perusing the isles of a bookstore. The downloaded file doesn’t have that “new” smell or untouched page feel. And most importantly the illustrations (although VERY clear on some devices) to me loose their sense of magic… a book draws you in, invites you to enter its pages and become a part of the story! A very crisp, clear digital image just reminds me exactly that… that it is the best quality, highest resolution etc. etc.

I say all this with an element of tongue in cheek! 🙂 I will probably find myself in the not to distant future pouring over titles of books to download… BUT what I want to say is

Don’t forget the beauty of books! They are something to treasure… to teach your children how to hold carefully, turn pages gently, read from left to right, absorb wonderful images, learn front to back… etc. etc.

Now for a quick review of OUR current favorite illustrator…. CHRISTIAN BIRMINGHAM

Having stumbled upon his book Sleeping Beauty at the local library, “Sunshine” and myself were in love!! Christian draws people who have life and light. Using pencil drawings and pastel he captures beauty, mystery, compassion, spirit, joy and childlike innocence in such a way that “Sunshine” is just about transported in raptures when paging through the beautiful books. We have gone on to buy “The Snow Queen”  and “The Little Mermaid” both translated by Naomi Lewis from Hans Christian Anderson’s original stories. I am keeping my eye out for sales on “Sleeping Beauty” and a few others. Christian himself was kind enough to reply to an email “Sunshine” sent him and let her in on a few secrets 🙂


Image(picture from the “Snow Queen”)

I thoroughly recommend looking out for his books as they are treasures to hold!!! 🙂




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