Littleland Around the World by Marion Billet

As a bookseller and parent, I was always surprised by the lack of Look-and-Find books for kids who weren't quiet ready for the intensity of the Where's Waldo books. Which is why I was so excited when I discovered Marion Billet's Littleland last year! And now we have Littleland: Around the World to add to the growing list of Look-and-Find books for toddlers. Billet's illustrations are bright and cheerful, just like her big-eyed animal characters. She fills each two-page spread with just the right amount of activity so that finding the selected objects, which are presented on the bottom of each page on a white background, making it easy for little ones to recognize something they may have never seen or heard of before in the illustration above.

In Littleland: Around the World the animals spend quite a bit of time in Europe, however they do visit the Netherlands and Finland, which is a bit different for a book of this nature. The Little Ones start their journey in London and end in New York city, visiting European capitals, Egypt, Africa, India, China, Japan and Australia in between. While keeping it simple for the intended audience, Billet also includes things like a barge, and accordion, a gondola, a sitar, a turban, a sushi roll and a boomerang that are sure to start fun conversations!

Both Littleland and Littleland: Around the World are beautiful books that would make great gifts - especially for a little one about to embark on a long plane, train or car ride! Be sure to follow the Look-and-Find link for more great books for little ones and older kids - and adults!


Color for Baby: Four board books for baby featuring more than forty famous works by contemporary artists, Curated by Yana Peel

I'm not sure how much parents are thinking about cultural literacy when they are purchasing board books for toddlers. If this is something that matters to you or if you appreciate contemporary art, then you will seek out Color for Baby: Four board books for baby featuring more than forty famous works by contemporary artists, Curated by Yana Peel. If not, and you are fortunate enough to be given this set of four accordion board books as a gift or if you stumble across it somewhere, you and the baby in your life are in luck! 

Personally, I studied art briefly in college before switching majors and, while creating and appreciating art is no longer an everyday part of my life, I definitely enjoy and find enriching the moments when I do cross paths with it and I especially appreciate benefitting from the knowledge and expertise of Yana Peel, who co-founded Outset Contemporary Art Fund, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting new art. Peel consulted with childhood experts when choosing the art for this book. The use of the images was donated and all profits from this book and two others in this series (see below) support NSPCC, an organization working to end child cruelty across the UK.

The two-sided format of the four books (yellow, blue, green and red) is perfect for tummy time, changing table time and car time. And the works of art chosen to represent each color - paintings, prints and sculptures - cover a wide range of styles and ideas. Some are high contrast and will catch baby's attention right away. Others are more detailed and complex, meaning that baby will see something new and different in each work as s/he grows and vision develops. Below are a handful of images of the works of art the appear in the books.

HOPE (Red/Violet) by Robert Indiana

Red Plum Tree by Zhang Xiaogang

Balloon Dog (Red), Jeff Koons

Work No. 79: Some Blue Tack kneaded by Martin Creed

Chair (Wallpaper-Orange) by Michael Craig-Martin

Les Oiseaux by Henri Matisse

An Orchard of Pears, No. 14 by William Scott

Untitled (Peony Blossom Painting) by Cy Twombly

She fled along the avenue by Patrick Caulfield

SP IV by Josef Albers

Sky by Ross Bleckner

Glorious by Damien Hirst

Source: Review Copy