It's World Book Day which, whilst generally being brilliant, can mean any number of things. Some children may dress up, some not, some may share their favourite book, others may just claim the literary heritage of Star Wars or Frozen. For the 19th Year running the challenge has been set, to ensure that all children have a book of their own and that is the reason why the day deserves a shout out.
Traditionally World Book Day is about the characters from well loved tales such as the Cat in the Hat, Matilda or the Gruffalo. Adults and kids may spend hours sticking outfits together (or nipping to the shops to pick one up) and schools invite children to share their favourite stories and make a donation if they wish. Our daughter has dressed as Little Red Riding Hood (thanks to having a perfect red cloak in the dressing up box) whilst clutching a copy of Poo Bum...awesome outfit, awesome book - they needn't be linked.
Here at Smallprint we love the classics: we made wedding bunting from pages of Winnie The Pooh, and you can probably guess the inspiration behind our daughter’s middle name, Beatrix, but our mission is also to find brilliant books which aren’t part of the mainstream but will be loved by whoever owns them. With our edit of carefully curated picture books, non-fiction and baby books, we want to bring people titles that will be loved, last a lifetime and prove that books can do and be so much more than fill shelf space. We believe the merit of having fewer but better books, you could say it’s a case of fab fiction vs fast fiction.
For this reason our latest blog post is about those books that we will be treasuring as our new classics. Read on...
The Benjamin Chaud trilogy of Bear books deserve to go down in history as a selection of the most beautiful stories of all time. I challenge you not to fall in love with his intricate illustrative style and there is enough going on between the pages to be read over and over again without growing old. When baby bear sneaks off, papa bear is tasked with trying to catch him, what comes next are pages of adventures, excitement and drama. Special enough to be loved forever, the oversized format and story will stick in the mind for a lifetime. The Bear's Song, The Bear's Sea Escape, The Bear's Surprise, all £10.99/£11.99.
Classic childhood books don't need to be stories, they can be anything that sticks in the mind. Interactive books are the best for creating lasting memories and Oh No! is just that; a funny, absorbing book where the picture magically changes with a clever piece of acetate. The girl buys a bunch of balloons, oh no! she floats up into the sky, the boy kicks the football, oh no! it breaks the window. The whole Patrick George series of acetate books deserve to be well loved as they are innovative, light-hearted and a bit of a giggle. Patrick George, £8.99.
As failsafe baby gifts, Odd One Out and the sequel Where's The Pair are both brilliant books. Nicely produced, full of incredible image and colour, lots of easy to read rhyming and a fun selection of tricky differences to spot. Sometimes you can just tell what will be a favourite by the feel of it, this book is a great all-rounder, for different ages, timeless and great quality. Britta Teckentrup, £10.99, £12.99.
Last up are a couple of excellent stories about children much like our own, with real ambitions and determination. Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer are full of positive messages about trying with all your might to achieve something that you have your heart set on. We're not always keen on books with underlying life lessons but this is a nice gentle one and the story and images are fun and lively. Andrea Beatty and David Roberts, £9.99.