A short time ago, Natalya and I had to opportunity to attend a baby shower for a young couple in our community. As a way of exciting a thirteen-year-old only-child who has zero interest in most pre-fifth-grade children, let alone babies, I told her we would be gifting books. We love and make extensive use of public libraries, but we have come to appreciate curating a modest collection of our own.
I began thinking about the ideal picture book library for the home:
It should contain some subversive material.
It shouldn’t all be overtly moralizing.
It should not be exclusively gendered.
It should be multicultural and multilingual.
It should feature variety in art and story.
It should have plenty of fairytales, fables and mythology, classic and revisited.
There should be poetry; and absurdity; the melancholic; and a touch of the macabre.
There should be books an adult will not mind reading one hundred times.
What would you add to (or take away from) the list?
What did I end up gifting with the little knowledge about the couple, the restriction of one store (gift carding it), and ~one hour of last-minute gifting? Two excellent picture books, but neither were as inclusive as I’d hoped to have managed.