Round-up: Children’s Books

No nursery or child’s room, we feel, would be complete without a well-curated collection of books. We love the color, the sense of play, and the imagination-sparking energy books bring to a space — that’s why just about every one of our Nursery Projects puts a little one’s library prominently on display.

Today, in celebration of a few of our favorites, we’ve rounded up a list of fourteen treasured children’s titles with a little something for everyone: from babies to big kids to the grown-ups reading the bedtime stories, too. A bonus: On top of their wonderful words, these books are so beautiful you may find yourself keeping them out to be admired — or even displaying them, gallery-style, on the wall (a little trick we’ve used here and there.

1. Home, written and illustrated by Carson Ellis

Carson Ellis, a Portland artist (and “illustrator-in-residence” for rock band The Decemberists), illustrates all the many interpretations of home: from castles to log cabins, igloos to artists’ studios.

Home

2.Bruno Munari’s Zoo, written and illustrated by Bruno Munari

Take a trip to the zoo with legendary artist and designer Bruno Munari, whose poetic words are just as striking as his bright, buoyant illustrations.

BrunoMunariZoo

3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle

This colorful classic, published in 1967, features collage illustrations by then-unknown artist Eric Carle (who later went on to write and illustrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

BrownBear

4. The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

Published in 1962, this story — about a little boy’s discovery of the wonders of a wintry day — is iconic not only for its unmistakeable artwork and words, but also for being the first full-color US kids’ book to feature a black child as its central figure.

TheSnowyDay

5. Along a Long Road, written and illustrated by Frank Viva

Artist Frank Viva (whose work has been featured on the cover of The New Yorker) made his debut into the world of children’s books with this bicycle-themed bestseller. Fun fact: The entire book was illustrated using only five colors.

AlongaLongRoad

6. The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, written and illustrated by Maja Säfström

Packed with peppy illustrations by Swedish artist Maja Säfström, this little blue book offers up heaps of awe-inspiring animal facts — did you know, for instance, that seahorses hold each other’s tails as they move through the water? (We didn’t, either.)

TheIllustratedCompendium

7. Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs, written by Joel Meyerowitz

For more advanced readers, this kids’ guide to photography — written by seasoned pro Joel Meyerowitz — features images by Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, and more.

SeeingThings

8. One Thousand Things, written and illustrated by Anna Kovecses

A true treat for the eyes, this “visual encyclopedia” contains 80 pages’ worth of vividly illustrated people, places, and things.

1000Things

9. Sparkle and Spin, written by Ann Rand, illustrated by Paul Rand

A 1950s ode to the magic of words, Sparkle and Spin pairs author Ann Rand’s lively prose with the vibrant illustrations of her husband, midcentury graphic designer Paul Rand.

SparkleSpin

10. I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Follow this charming bear on a search for his missing hat, through playful illustrations from Jon Klassen (also the author of This Is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat).

IWantMyHatBack

11. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

In a charming tale of friendship, a cast of caring (and exquisitely illustrated) animals tends to their cherished zookeeper as he nurses a cold.

ASickDayforAmosMcGee

12. My Friends, written and illustrated by Taro Gomi

A ponytailed little girl is the star of this irresistible board book, sharing lessons she’s learned from her many friends — a jumping dog, swinging monkey, and sleepy crocodile included.

MyFriends

13. Lost and Found, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Beloved author Oliver Jeffers’s dreamy watercolors and simple, stirring words tell the story of a little boy and his new friend, as they journey to the South Pole and back again.

LostandFound

14. Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Though the adorable cover art is reason enough to take Gaston home, it’s the sweet story about the bonds of family that’ll have little readers hooked.

Gaston