This Book Of Mine (Sarah Stewart)

Hello, friends! Our book today is This Book Of Mine, written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small, a lovely ode to books and readers.

Told from the perspective of a book lover, the story explores the many things a book can be – a comfort, a teacher, an inspiration. It can hold stories or music or plays or incredible facts about the world around us. It can be a teething toy to a baby sitting on their mother’s lap as she reads, or a script as an actor prepares to perform, or a day of relaxation and quiet at the beach. A book can be many things, but every single book is at least one thing to its reader: a friend.

I always have a soft spot for books about books, especially when they are as beautifully written and illustrated as this one is. Stewart’s text is lyrical and graceful, using a shifting rhythm to make each page’s theme its own while connecting to the larger narrative. And Small’s illustrations are positively gorgeous, pairing precise pen-and-ink illustrations with splashes of purple watercolor as the basis for each scene, with the sole contrast being the book cover at its center. The cast of characters is pleasantly diverse in age and appearance, the length is short enough to be enjoyed by any age, and JJ loved the illustrations and soothing tone. This would make a lovely gift for bookworms young and old, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

One Cool Friend (Toni Buzzeo)

Summer Reading Day 75: Our book today was One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, with illustrations by David Small. One Cool Friend tells the story of a very proper little boy who gets a penguin named Magellan for a pet, and the misadventures the two have.

This was a cute book with a fun, silly story and a twist ending that made me chuckle. The art is adorable, and very reminiscent of Disney’s art from the 60’s and 70’s. My only two issues were that it was a bit long for a baby JJ’s age (however, it would be great for an older child), and the manner in which the little boy, Elliot, procures his penguin – which is to say, he STEALS him! Elliot sneaks Magellan out of an aquarium by stuffing him into a backpack and walking out. It is meant to show childish innocence, but the fact that he steals the penguin and then never returns him or makes amends for the theft left me nonplussed. Of course, this is a children’s picture book, but it definitely stood out as being an iffy message for youngsters. It’s a cute book otherwise, so I would say give it a read and decide for yourself.