Phaidon kindly sent two of my three kids a trio of delightfully stylish and informative books to read and enjoy, and whilst my youngest is just 16 months, she adores books thanks to us reading to her from birth.
The three books I’m reviewing today, while perfect for younger children will provide wonder and joy for those of any age.
Check out these new spring releases:
Spaghetti! An Interactive Recipe Book-(£16.95) illustrated by Lotta Nieminen.
An intentionally simple and beautifully composed interactive recipe board book for 2 + kids, ‘Spaghetti!’ draws you in by bringing this much-loved Italian and now British national dish to life as together with your child you can spin, push and pull the novelty features within, ‘cooking’ the dish with just a lot of visual clues and a little imagination.
Cooking without mess or stress really is genius!
My Mum, a former teacher, has tasked Florence with stirring ingredients in bowls already (she’s braver than I am) and my Father owns an Italian restaurant so this book couldn’t be more perfect for our very own ‘little chef’!
Spaghetti! is aimed at ages 2-4 but Florence is a fan at not yet 1 and a half. We do have to watch she doesn’t tear the cardboard features though.
The brigh and bold illustrations and the 3D elements make this an ideal hardback chunky book for young, easily distracted eyes and hands and it’s even helped Florence become familiar with lesser known words such as ‘tomato’ and of course ‘spaghetti’!
Louise Bourgeois Made Giant Spiders and Wasn’t Sorry (£12.95) by Fausto Gilberti
A mesmerising monochrome picture-book biography of one of the most famous artists in the modern and contemporary art world, Louise Bourgeois, ‘Louise Bougeois Made Big Spiders and Wasn’t Sorry’ is a must-read at any age.
Louise weaved her own life story into her bold and captivating art work and via multiple mediums, and up until the age of 98 no less.
Inspired by her own beloved mother, a weaver, whom she would help mend old tapestries with as a child, led to her sculpting mammoth spiders made from marble and metal which fascinate some and terrify others due to their scale and subject matter.
The inspiration behind the towering sculptures however is not as scary as you might assume.
This book has in fact inspired me to pick up a paintbrush again after a long break which is testimony to quite how powerful its call to action is.
Art was always my first love, and like Louise, I find it a healing practice, allowing us to create, build and explore the ups and downs of life. Both the glory and the pain.
Her own work, rather like this blog is a family archive, a reflection of her memories and the moments which mattered to her. This book is a tribute to her.
As artists and storytellers, we often draw on what we know in a bid to understand our past and present or perhaps even preserve a moment in time or a special relationship in our life.
Art, both as the creator and recipient is so immediate and emotive.
My beloved late Yiayia (Grandmother)’s sewn, knitted and crotcheted pieces (blankets, pillow cases, my doll’s clothes) instantly transport me to our sacred time together, I as a child watching her at work, a dedicated and skilled artist. A part of her is forever inprinted in her stitches.
But back to the book. Bourgeois became the first female sculptor to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and through this book and her memoriable body of work, she continues to inspire this next generation of artists (and creative mums too, of course). Ages 4-7 years.
A Home for Every Plant-Wonders of the Botanical World (£19.95) by Matthew Biggs, Illustrations by Lucila Perini.
We owe plants our lives here on Earth and this bedazzling book pays fitting tribute to them, introducing young readers (7-11) to the importance, vibrancy and beauty of plants in a bid to cure what has become known as ‘plant blindness’ amongst younger generations.
66 amazing plants from six major climactic zones around the world are featured from the stinkiest (such as the massive Titan Arum of the Indonesian rainforest, which smells of rotting flesh to attract insects), to the hardest-working (including peat moss, an overlooked bog plant that helps protect our planet by trapping carbon dioxide).
Children will also learn how to put their new-found knowledge of various plants’ natural environments to good use both outside in nature and when caring for plants at home. This is the perfect compendium for would-be botanists and the already green-fingered amongst us, big and small. Utterly brilliant.
Do consider buying them or asking your library to order them if they’re not already available.
Gifted by Phaidon. Photographed with permission from the publisher.
My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home
(UK 2nd Edition)
Available on Amazon or Audible
The Working Mom: Your Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home
Available September 8th 2020. Order now on Amazon
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Hi! I’m Vicki, mum to Oliver, 13, Xander, 10, and 1 year old Florence. I’m also an award-winning writer, director and content creator. I’m a storyteller working across the mediums of digital, print, TV and film.
I wrote the bestselling book Mumboss-The Honest Mum’s Guide To Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home in 2018, with a 2nd edition released in 2020 and the US and Canadian version titled The Working Mom was released in 2021.
I’m represented by Bell Lomax Moreton for books and Planet Shine as a director.
If you would like to work with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more about me here. .
You can order Mumboss (UK) HERE or The Working Mom HERE.