We love words, stories and cuddling while reading. We love talking about books we read but we are also huge fans of big format illustration books. I was very surprised to find out many parents don’t know about them. Z started enjoying them at around 14 months but I know a boy who was very interested in these books earlier.
These books are big, A4 format, have no words but contain lots of stories. Usually you can follow each character on every page – that can be even 20 stories in one book. Then there are all the objects to name, to find, to follow. All the details to find. There is one particular series that we’ve read for almost a year now and I still keep finding new features!
They are also great for spending time together, great boredom busters for waiting in queues (pediatrician’s office, airports, trips). If you’re, like me, not a big fun of books that are made of boring squares of illustrations with names underneath, but you’d like a book with lots of objects to name then this is your win.
It is impossible to review all of them, but there is something for everyone. You can easily find a book that will fit your child’s interest and broaden his horizons, his vocabulary and his knowledge: space themed, animal themed, medieval themed, princess themed – you name it. Our favorites are:
1. A series by Rotraut Susanne Berner, which has an English title “In the town all year round“. It really doesn’t matter if you buy this book with German, French, Polish or English title. There are no important words inside. Illustrations speak for themselves. We have 4 parts, each corresponds to different season of the year, we follow same characters in the same neighborhood and observe how their life and surroundings change. Pictures are very realistic but you will find some funny twists (is a nun carrying a penguin lantern or a penguin shaped balloon a coincidence?).
2. Less realistic pictures, same concept. This time it’s the seaside, painted brilliantly. Aliens, a super hero, sea creatures and a nosy boy, whose mother is looking for him on every page. “At the seaside” (“A la mer”) by Germano Zullo & Albertine.
3. Not any less favorite than two above is a Polish series by incredibly talented authors – Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinscy. They are known outside of Poland for their beautiful books “Maps“, for which Z is still bit too young but I can’t wait to buy it in max a year. Their series that I want to recommend is a tale of a city called “Mamoko” (literally “I have an eye”): “Mamoko long, long time ago”, “Mamoko” and “Mamoko 3000″. Past, future and present animals, fantasy creatures and aliens – something for everyone, great for imagination. Pictures are fantastic, stories are funny. It does not matter at all that the title is in Polish, you don’t need to speak it to read these illustrations.
4. I lately bought 2 Ali Mitgutsch’s books via internet and I regret it. I don’t like the illustrations, there are almost no stories inside but a big plus for many details in the pictures.
If you buy just one, good big illustrations books you will see that they are addictive and you will thank me for making 1h waiting in the doctor’s office pass quickly. For more tips on books and reading check this post, Pinterest board and fb page.