This week on Kitten Corner I wanted to take a look at some of the calmer, more gentle picture books that have come out recently. All of these books were sent to me free of charge by Little Tiger, but all opinions are my own, as always.
I Love You to the Moon and Back and I Love You Forever and a Day by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes
This series is gorgeous, whether you read it in the large format or the smaller, fancily-foiled gift edition. Beautifully soft illustrations and simple rhyming couplets showcase the love between these two bears throughout the whole day. To the Moon and Back has a nighttime setting, with soft blues and greens, while Forever and a Day shows daytime activities in an array of yellows and pinks – I found the artwork in both really soothing.
These are both very sweet, gentle reads that focus on love. The blurb of Forever and a Day says ‘parent and child’, but I really like that the relationship isn’t specified on the page in either book, and no genders are given (the text is from the big bear’s perspective and the little bear is addressed as ‘you’), so this would be a perfect read for mums, dads, grandparents, or anyone else with a little one in their life. They’d make lovely gifts!
Home is Where the Heart Is by Jonny Lambert
This story of two friends learning to live together is utterly adorable! Bear and Hare are very different personalities, but their relationship is strong enough to withstand the difficulties of sharing space – and it’s a great way to show kids that even though it can be frustrating to adjust to someone else’s living habits, it’s worth it for the sake of love. Any parent who’s had housemates before will definitely recognise the bickering!
I love the layered paper-cut style of the artwork, which is really intricate and yet simple as a whole, and the illustrations do a wonderful job of evoking the cosiness of the house and the feel of the forest as the seasons change. The juxtaposition of the dramatic storm and the warm glow of Hare’s lamp is just gorgeous.
Happy: A Children’s Book of Mindfulness by Nicola Edwards and Katie Hickey
I’m always really interested in books that help kids to manage big emotions, and this is a lovely example. It contains lots of practical advice for slowing down and noticing the world around us, presented in rhyming form. At times the poems can get a little bit twee, but they all have really solid mindfulness tips in, so I can forgive a bit of flowery language! The illustrations are wonderfully evocative of golden afternoons and cosy nights in – it’s calming even if you just want to look at the pictures. I enjoyed the mixture of outdoors and indoors settings, as sometimes mindfulness advice isn’t very accessible to those who don’t have much nature around them – I like that this book is clear that there are still wonderful things to notice in your own home. I’m never sure how re-readable something like this is for kids, but it’s certainly a great way to introduce some mindfulness concepts.