When I have children of my own, I know I'm going to want to share with them all the books and stories that have come to mean so much to me: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (and, frankly, every story ever written by Oscar Wilde), Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Cask of Amontillado and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway, The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Swim Team by Miranda July, Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle, Sea Oak by George Saunders, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and, of course, the entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
A quick glance at the above list demonstrates that these books/stories wouldn't necessarily resonate with a toddler (I mean, unless he/she was a G-E-N-I-U-S!). Therefore, someday I'll need to be on the hunt for children's books--books with charming photos, books with a good message, books that would help get my little kiddo interested in the beauty of the written word.
Wouldn't you know: I think I've found my first one! It's called "Henry Hikes to Fitchburg" by D.B. Johnson. This author must, like me, be a huge Walden fan. "Henry Hikes to Fitchburg" is a gorgeously illustrated book that details how Henry the bear and his friend take two very different paths to get to the same destination. While his friend stops at just about every corner to earn money, Henry takes the Walden-esque approach by taking in all of his surroundings, enjoying the beauty of nature, and not letting money dangle like a carrot in front of his nose all the time. Today, Brainpickings.org highlights the incredible approach Johnson takes with his debut children's book. You can read the story here, and see photos from the book itself. Talk about cute!
*Cue applause for D.B. Johnson now*
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .