With all the swirl and madness of this time of year, its nice to take a second and think about the kind of gifts we give and how they fit into the lives of the people we love. That’s why we were so excited when our friends at Chronicle Books invited us to participate in their second annual Give Books Holiday campaign. This week we’ve been talking alot at the studio about the power of Makers and what a wonderful time it is to be a designer, artist, author, illustrator, musician… There is so much great work being made and its easier than ever to connect with the people that bring it to life. A book is such a direct connection to the person or people behind it. The author, the illustrator, the editor that moves it through production, the designer that brings beauty and craft to the object, the publisher that makes a home for the titles that we love. Chronicle Books has been like a family to us since we first started working together and we flipped when we were able to pick 10 books available from the Chronicle Books catalog that are on our list for gift giving this year… As a giveaway! So amazing. Each of us (Erin and Micah) picked five and wrote a short review. Read all about ‘em and then head over to Instagram and tell us which you would be most excited to give as a gift and to whom to be entered to win this amazing little library from the incomparable Chronicle Books!
1 IN THIS BOOK by Fani Marceau, illustrated by Joelle Jolivet – The eye catching, bold, colorful cover of this book had me at hello and I immediately wanted to redesign my kids rooms around it. Then I took the book home and my daughters demanded we actually read the book! As we sat down that night and started to read, my 5 year old quickly picked up on the repetition of the stories and connected them to the beautiful illustrations on each page and magically she was able to read the book! As my mind was being blown, I also realized my two year old hadn’t escaped our story time ritual like she normally does and was equally engaged. Not only is this book gorgeous enough to display in your house, it’s also a great book for kids that are starting to read and toddlers that have short attention spans… now thats a great book!
2 THE WHERE THE WHY AND THE HOW by Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman and Matt Lamothe – This book is genius in my eyes. Who doesn’t have questions about the Wondrous Mysteries of Science… and to see those answers illustrated by artists that I know and love is just awesome.
3 WE WITHOUT YOU by Lisa Swerling, illustrated by Ralph Lazar – This book immediately hit a sentimental chord for me. I couldn’t wait to share the darling moral of the story with my family “We can’t imagine life with you!” and I knew my kids would love the simple, fun illustrations. I keep this book in my car and whip it out when everyone is bored and cranky and in need of an uplifting moment… it works wonders.
4 BONJOUR CAMILLE by Felipe Cano, illustrated by Laia Aguilar – I was curious about this book for two reasons. One, I was captivated by the title and cover illustration and two…. it was written by the founder of Bobo Choses, a kids fashion brand that I admire. As I started to read, I was quickly enamored by this little girl named Camille who puts on her battledress (a tutu) and top hat in order to start her busy day being curious, energetic without a care in the world all while pushing the parental boundaries. The book is smart, funny and has a style all its own…. plus it reminds me of a little two year old that I know.
5 CHLOE, INSTEAD by Micah Player – I LOVE this book… and not just because my fantastic business partner is the writer/illustrator. Graphically its has Micah’s signature style of colorful, bold illustrations paired with hand painted details which makes for one gorgeous book, but the story is what captures my heart. A tale of two sisters trying to navigate the rocky waters of sibling love and acceptance. I have two daughters, 2 and 5, and this book characterizes their relationship perfectly right now. My oldest loves relating to Molly, the older sister, and we both have a good laugh when she compares Chloe’s antics to her own sisters, but It’s when Molly comes full circle and embraces Chloe and her toddler ways that the magic happens. This book is a staple in my house… we read it EVERY single night and you know what? We never get tired of it.
1 SUPER GRAPHIC by Tim Leong – Comic books were my first love, International Style Swiss Graphic Design was my second. This book lays out trivia and explores statistics from the world of comics in a whimsically modernist (and in many cases elegant) series of charts and graphs. Highlight for my kids? A spread dedicated to pie charts representing the insane flavors of pizza that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ordered in their eighties animated TV series. Also depicted is the number of times the Turtles ordered pizza in their original comic book form: Zero!
2 PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet – It’s a rare thing for an author to connect so completely with his audience that they momentarily forget that the book is there at all. Tullet accomplishes that ultimate mind-hack perfectly in this already classic work (only two years old!) by tapping into the rhythm and expectations of the format with the joy and confidence of a magician.
3 UNUSUAL CREATURES by Michael Hearst – The perfect blend of curiosity, craft and ick factor. Science with a sense of humor, this became my son’s favorite book in exactly 5 seconds.
4 FOR JUST ONE DAY by Laura Leuck and Marc Boutavant – Simply a perfect picture book. I have a mad art-crush on Boutavant and Leuck’s clear, direct prose is full of promise and self discovery. The cover is just beyond. I have a copy that has never even been opened, high up on the book shelf to just look beautiful. And another in the kid’s room, practically torn to pieces with love.
5 LATELY LILY by Micah Player – My name may be on the cover, but more than a couple dreams came true when we saw this Sunny Yellow gem arrive in the mail. When Erin and I started our apparel collaboration as Lately Lily, our goal was to write a love letter (with my pen and her sewing machine) to all the smart, curious young adventurers in our life. My kids, Erin’s kids, our own childhood friends and daydreams. Lily, the bright hopeful little girl traveling the world with her smart hard working parents and stuffed zebra best friend, is our muse. She is made up of everything we love about the possibilities of childhood.
There you have it! Now go to our Instagram to enter to WIN these amazing books! Step One: Repost and hashtag the #GiveBooks image. Step Two: Leave a comment on our Instagram, telling us which from our picks you are most excited to gift and to whom! We will announce a winner on Monday Dec. 1st!
Don’t forget to pledge to #GIveBooks this Season and share the love! Oh, and if you use the promo code “GIVEBOOKS” on Chronicle’s website you get 30% off til the end of the year on ANYTHING in their store!
From Chronicle Books: “Share the love of reading, support your local bookseller, and help promote literacy!” For every person who pledges to #GiveBooks this holiday season by sharing this intention through social media, Chronicle Books will donate a book to a child in need through the nonprofit First Book. Help them donate 10,000 books by taking the pledge here.