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Davinder and Caroline Madaher 

World book day and Beautiful books.

World book day and Beautiful books.

Today is World Book day, Its meant to be a day where we can Celebrate authors, illustrators and share in our love for books and reading. 

Its a great opportunity to encourage young and old readers alike to engage with books, and celebrate our favourite reads and characters. Millions of children right across the Uk will receive book tokens from National Book Tokens Limited. They can then take that token and go to a participating bookshop, and can use it to collect one of ten free books, or use towards a purchase of a book of their choice.

For more details on the scheme head to the official website


So I could not miss this opportunity to share with you some of our very favourite and most treasured books that we love. Being creative we always react to beautifully illustrated books, and thats why today my focus is on the illustration as well as the story. There are some children books that we will never give away and will enjoy for years to come.

So lets begin taking you through these beautiful books......

1. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, beautifully illustrated by Anna Bond. Anna Bond founder of Rifle Paper Co, a worldwide stationary company is known for her hand painted illustrations and lettering often using deep dark backgrounds with vibrant florals on top that are stunningly eye catching. check out her Instagram feed. @annariflebond

She has worked on some other classic girls novels, so she's worth checking out. And of course we love this story its a classic that even I read as a little girl. It tells the lovely tale of a little girl sent to a private school treated very much like a princess whilst her Daddy goes to war, it appears that she looses everything and there are many hardships the girl has to overcome, but with her beautiful imagination and strength of character she triumphs over her difficulties and things do in reality come to a wonderful happy ending.

The quirky illustrations inside the cover.

2. I Live In Brooklyn- written and illustrated by Mari Takabayashi

I love this book so much as its a sweet reminder of my New York days and it reminds me of the many families I knew living in Brooklyn. Davinder brought this book home from one of his New York work trips for Naomi when she was very young. Naomi has always loved the book and the illustrations are so colourful. As I would read it to her, I felt like I was transported back to the days when I lived in Brooklyn.

This Large pond in Prospect Park was only a small walk from my home in Brooklyn for a season when I lived there near Park Slope. I love books that you can connect with and this book certainly does that for me. I feel like its also enabled Naomi to connect to the life we had there in her own small way.

I love this image of the tree lined brown stones with the city of manhattan in the distance. Since this was our home for some time and we have so many memories here, this is certainly one of those treasured books. To find out more about the Author and illustrator head to her website.


3. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. So you probably knew this book would be in the list somewhere! This is a children's classic by Lewis Carroll, its probably one of the most illustrated of storybooks, you just need to go into any bookshop and find a handful of various artists who have depicted this story.

I Picked out this particular book for Naomi as I loved the style of Robert Ingpen, his pencil sketches and beautifully marked paintings, I love how he captures detail with a dry brush, then he seems to have added pencil detail, also dabbing the brush to create a meadow of flowers, cross hatching, mark making to build up his images. Some of his pencil drawings which are by no means simple, seem to be drawn on tea stained papers to give that old feel to the work. 

Some of Robert Ingpen's work is available to purchase here.


4. The Adventures of Dotty and Bluebell- By Jools Oliver, Illustrated by Claire Fletcher.

This little book it so delightful and we have loved it so much, I pulled it off Naomi's bookshelf last night and she immediately wanted to take it from my hands and read it. Although she is now ten years old, Naomi will still enjoy books like these.

The illustrations by Claire Fletcher are just stunning, they take me back to my childhood old picture books, but of course the images are of modern style children and they are beautifully done. Jools Oliver has written four wonderful stories that take you through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. I really hope she will turn her hand to writing again as this book feels like a classic and will stand the test of time, another book to treasure.

I'd recommend checking out Claire Fletchers website its lovely and you can find out more about her work there.


5. Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day. By Amy De La Haye, illustrated by Emily Sutton.

This book is so wonderfully patterned and illustrated, I really enjoy Emily's style and her colour choice.

If you have a creative child they will love this story and the adventure with the hat that takes Clara Button to the Victoria and Albert museum. This is certainly a favourite place for us to visit and we actually bought this book in the wonderful museum shop. Check out Emily Sutton's work on her website.


6. This Morning I met A Whale- by Michael Morpurgo illustrated by Christian Birmingham.

This book is by one of our favourite authors, But I've chosen this particular book firstly because the story is so moving and secondly its illustrated wonderfully so can be enjoyed by a younger reader or listener. We have a lot of his novels, but his picture books are a lovely way to introduce a younger reader to his work.

When I read this story to Naomi and Caleb my two older children, I was literally moved to tears by the end. Its such a moving powerful story and the illustrations on every page really capture that. I'd really recommend this book and any of Michael Morpurgo's books for that matter. read his website for more information about him.


And if you are interested in looking at more of Christian Birmingham's work check out his website here. http://christianbirmingham.com

7. Goldilocks and the three bears.

Everyone loves the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, in fact no-one really needs a book to re-tell the tale until that is Lauren Child re-tells it. Of course she is well know for her Charlie and Lola books. In this book she has collaborated with Photographer Emily Borland and theatre designer Emily Jenkins. The character dolls were created especially for the book and are used within still life scenes each set up and created to illustrate the story.

The book has appealed to all three of my children and its a book we will never part with we have loved it time and time again.

here's Lauren Child's official website- http://www.milkmonitor.com

And the Photographer Polly Borland-  http://www.pollyborland.com

Unfortunately I struggled to find a current website for Emily Jenkins although there is another illustrator by that name.

8. Alfie- By Shirley Hughes.

Any of these Alfie books are such a joy to read, they are full of lovely tales and rich with common sense and good teaching. I've loved reading these books to my children but Joshua especially has enjoyed them the most.

The Illustrations are stunning art works in themselves and draw you into the story, but of course even without these pictures Shirley Hughes books draw you in. They are full of adventure and imagination.

I think they encourage children to find enjoyment from the simple things in life and encourage contentment and happiness. There are many books in the Alfie story range and I am sure like our children yours will love them to.



9. Baby Shoes- By Dashka Slater, Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata.

So I have chosen this book because this was given to us by Hiroe who illustrated it. When Naomi was born she sent us a huge stack of books which we loved so much, but this book has certainly been the firm favourite with all three of our children.

Both Davinder and I worked with Hiroe in New York for a Textile company, it seems like many years ago now. But thankfully we have stayed in touch and hopefully one day might get to meet up again although she is now based in Japan. ( Now there's an excuse for a trip!) Her handwriting is very comical and I love the way that even the little animal characters in her illustrations are often having their own little narrative in the background of the story.

Its a rhyming book so these always appeal to children, and the words are picked up easily for very young children, they can sit with this book and tell it to themselves eventually.

I am not sure how available these books are here in the Uk, but I am confident that you can get many of Hiroe's books on Amazon. Here is a link to more information about Hiroe.


10. How To Catch a Star- By Oliver Jeffers

We absolutely love this book, introduced to it by some lovely friends we met on holiday, Adam and Sheetal, we had an instant connection with our daughters being the same age. We enjoyed their copy of the book then went and got our own copy on our return home. All the children have enjoyed this book but its definitely one of Joshua's current favourites. His recent request has been that he to would like a star but a real one! 

The illustrations in the book are simple and beautiful, the artist has a distinct style and there is a lovely lighthearted feel to the story, its a clever idea and very original. 

This story will not be one we part with, and will have a safe place on our bookshelf for years to come.

Oliver Jeffers has many more brilliant books so checkout his website.


I hope you have enjoyed my 10 choices on this World book day, I've tried to choose a varied range of favourites all of which have some meaning to us. Books are a very special part of children and adult life and they are a great way to connect with our children and spend quality time with them. There is nothing better than curling up with your little one and reading out loud to them.

I would love to hear what your favourite books are feel free to comment below or comment on our Facebook page.

Enjoy your book Day.

Caroline x


















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