Inspiration from children’s books

As I wait for another presence to come into our home I’ve been getting settled into our new community and that includes checking into our library system. It’s summer and I’m finding books to read to the kids that infuse them with the topics of summertime, the outdoors, life by the water and what animals lie in that water. Our current surroundings are the elements that are guiding my book selections.

I recently checked out the works of Robert Frost which are illustrated for children. Reading his poems makes me want to spend all day walking in the woods, or maybe it transends me into the woods while I read, I’m not completely sure. At any rate I’m finding a lot of inspiration from the books I’m reading to my kids. It’s funny how children’s literature can uplift the adult soul. There is one book that I read and re-read to my kids on a regular basis. It’s sweetly poetic and charmingly illustrated. I love the layers of colour and the images on the pages. It’s a book about the changing of seasons and I found that I can appreciate, even while living in the bitter winters of Wisconsin, the change from fall to winter and I can even appreciate it’s beauty.

This morning I read to the kids about sailing ships in far away places and the nature of adventure and risk for a small child. I’m not saying that reading Barbara Kingslover isn’t inspiring me but there is something special and foundational about the adventures that children have which make me want to play outside, eat a sandwich mixed with sandy bits and breathe the sea air.

Here are a few gems that I’ve found

– Red Sings from Treetops: a year in colors by Joyce Sidman

– Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain by Edward Ardizzone

– The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

– Anything by A.A. Milne

– The Sign of the Seahorse (poems about life under the sea) by Graeme Base

Enjoy the summer sun!


7 thoughts on “Inspiration from children’s books

  1. Add to that The Little Prince, by Antoine Saint-Exupery – LOVE that book. 🙂 Have you read it to the kiddos yet? I’m trying to figure out at what age that is a good book to start reading to our little one and future little ones.

    So excited for Sylvie’s imminent arrival! We keep waiting for a call/text from Matt. And of course we can’t wait to see you all up in Tacoma soon and meet her!

  2. Tracie…I just love your blog! I’m so glad I subscribed to it recently. Now I can read each entry as you post them! You are a fantastic writer…and obviously an incredible mother. I can’t wait to meet your kids someday. I imagine they are inquisitive, adventurous and probably hilarious! Hope you’re enjoying your summer! sending much love from New York! 🙂

    • That’s really sweet of you to say, Caroline. I’m glad you’re reading. I’m really bad at posting right now. I haven’t been consistent at all but hey, I guess I have a lot on my plate right now. It’s always good to hear from you. I’d love a full update someday soon.


  3. I agree. I think sometimes kids books are better written than adult books. Maybe writing for children forces the author to tell a story or describe a scene in a way that kids can get and it cuts out a lot of the froth. Not sure what it is, but I know that I find a good children’s book very refreshing sometimes.

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