One of the things that I most looked forward to about becoming a mom was having a good excuse to read picture books again. There is something special about being able to escape everyday life and get lost between the pages of a magical imaginative, world that has been beautifully illustrated.
When my oldest was born, however, I was disappointed to find so many picture books fall flat. Many were poor stories, had unpleasant humor, or were lacking in beauty. I found that the vast majority of picture books commonly available today are disappointing. And yet, I vividly remember enjoying fantastic picture books as a child, so I engaged in a quest to track down truly great picture books for my home library.
In my search for really excellent picture books, I discovered Purple House Press. The first PHP picture book I ordered was Three Little Horses by Piet Worm. What a fascinating and pleasing book! It is unexpected, artistic, and weirdly endearing. Next, I ordered Mrs. Pine Takes a Trip, and I was even more pleased, because the story is old-fashioned, sweet, and made me feel like I was in a world like Mr. Rogers’ Land of Make-believe. Over the last two years, Jill Morgan, owner of Purple House Press, and I have become friends. We have a mutual love of children’s books and a shared wish to see classic picture books stay in print.
One of the things that I appreciate about Jill’s taste in picture books is that she seems to understand how important it is to cultivate rightly ordered affections in our children’s reading preferences. Like me, she thinks that the illustration should be artistic and interesting, in most cases the story should move at a relatively slow and dream-like pace, and the virtues in the story should be edifying to the reader. All of the Purple House Press books I have read with my children have had a great “read-aloud” quality (they sound good read-aloud), they invite the children into fascinating ideas, they are beautiful to the eye, and the printing is exquisite (high-quality paper, rich colors, generous size).
The Blueberry Elf
Benjamin Dilley’s Thirsty Camel
Down Down The Mountain
The Flying Hockey Stick
Giants Come In Different Sizes
The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read
Miss Jaster’s Garden
Mr. Pine’s Purple House
Mrs. Pine Takes a Trip (coming soon)
Pickle Chiffon Pie & The Pickle Chiffon Pie Olympics
The Practical Princess
We Were Tired of Living in a House